Just like humans, horses can suffer from sunburn.

In the UK this may be easy to forget sometimes, as the weather is hardly ever hot enough! In fact, this is worse for our horses – as those who live without a lot of sunshine for months are at a higher risk. As we creep further into summertime, remember to help your horse avoid sunburn with these few tips.

What to look out for

While your horses’ whole body can get a sunburn, their face and heels are the most commonly affected areas as they have very little hair coverage. Sunburn can occur on if your horse is sunburnt, you may notice signs of discomfort, redness and peeling around the affected area. While the occasional sunburn is irritation, it isn’t fatal for your horse. However regular sun burning can result in thickening and scaling of the skin's surface, which sometimes can lead to skin cancer.

Horses prone to getting sunburn

How to prevent sunburn

Provide lots of shade in turnout areas and fields. Horses can be turned out on the hottest days of the year if they are provided with plenty of shade. If there are no trees or buildings to offer your horse some shelter from the sun, we recommend putting in a field shelter. Field shelters will not only provide shade, but they also provide a cool place to keep a water trough for the horses to drink at their leisure.

Use equine sun lotion. You can buy sun lotion that has been made especially for horses. Depending on your horses’ skin, you may have to apply the sunscreen a couple of times a day, but you can buy coloured lotion to help you target spots you’ve missed.

Use a fly mask. Most fly masks will have a UV protection statement on them, go for the one with the highest UV protection claim. Most masks cover your horse's whole face, including the nose, offering great protection from the sun and pesky flies!

horse full body protection from sunburn

Blanket your horse. It does sound crazy in this heat to blanket your horse, but there are summer blankets out there that are made of breathable material. For mostly white horses this is sometimes a more efficient option that rubbing sun cream over the whole body.

Provide fresh water. Summer heat can easily cause your horse to become dehydrated. If your horse is already sunburnt, they will be very thirsty or at risk of heat stroke. Keeping fresh water available can prevent this, make sure they always have access to fresh water.

Static Field Shelters by Jon William Stables

Jon William Stables have been manufacturing Static Field Shelters since 1983, meaning each unit comes with 25 years of solid experience behind it. These open fronted buildings can be situated on a concrete base or our unique foundation pack, which offers a good solid footing for your field shelter. With a vast range of options – you are able to customise a Jon William Stables Static Field Shelter to suit your requirements. Give us a call today to discuss a bespoke field shelter to provide shade for your horse.

 Static field shelter