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Too hot to trot

Oklahoma summers are not kind to horses. The sweltering temperatures, combined with the sticky humidity, makes some days downright oppressive.

You’ve heard of the heat index – the number the temperature feels like instead of the actual number on the thermometer. For horses, the numerical combination of humidity and degrees is the index – the “feels like” temperature. You actually add the humidity to the temperature.

Photos courtesy Equus Athletics

As with humans, no two horses are the same, so you have to monitor each horse when temperatures rise. The table below gives a general idea of what horses experience with increasing heat and humidity.

Watch for signs of heat stress (described in the photo below) and call the veterinarian the moment you see anything out of the ordinary when the horse index is high.