Did you know that your horse can get sunburn and damage his skin just like humans do? And like humans, sunburn can occur even on cloudy days. Light-colored horses and horses with white markings can get quite badly sunburned, especially on the muzzle and around the eyes, and need extra protection. Dark colored horses, however may not be as prone to sunburn, but their coat color can get bleached, turning your beautiful bay to mousy brown.Two of the best (and easiest) ways to prevent too much sun is using a fly sheet and adding a fly mask, especially the ones that cover their ears down to the tip of their nose. These two things also have the added benefit of protecting your horse from annoying flies.
Many products like fly sprays and shampoos contain sunscreen and those are great for a little added protection. You can also use topical sunscreen cream for horses on the tips of your horse’s ears and white facial markings.
Make sure your horse has shade available during turnout. You can also reverse the usual turnout routine and keep him inside the barn during the day and turn him out at night. Limit your horse riding time between 11am and 3pm when the sun is strongest. If you're going on a trail ride, pick a shady route.
Enjoy the sunny days of summer, but remember to protect yourself and your horse from sunburn.