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Hello Bob!

I'm from Kentucky. I own a paint quarter horse gelding. He is red and white. I'm having a lot of trouble keeping him from getting sunburned on his rump.

Do you have any suggestions other than stalling him during the day and turning him out at night?

Thanks for your help.

- D. & B.


Wow! a sunburned horse... now that's a problem you don't see every day!

The first question I'd want to ask is: how often do you wash the critter? Body oil helps to protect the skin against sun in summer as well as cold in winter. If you wash him too frequently, you may be robbing him of some essential protection.

Next, I'd like to know about his stable schedule -- how much time and the time of day that he spends indoors/outdoors. It's always best to ease a horse into any major change, whether it's putting him out on pasture, changing the grain mix, or altering his turn-out time.

You may want to try a fine-mesh blanket to block some of the sun's rays without getting him too hot. It would also provide some fly protection.

Speaking of flies, are you certain that what seems like sunburn isn't actually an allergic reaction to insect bites or a harsh fly spray?

Horses always need some sort of protection from extreme weather conditions -- usually a three-sided shelter open to the southeast. If you don't have any shady spots on the pasture, you might consider putting up a slat-roof on tall poles.

Finally, you can soothe the burn and provide some protection with a zinc oxide paste or by dusting with a mix of equal parts of zinc oxide and talcum powder.

Happy Healing!

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