March 09, 2023 3 min read

Keeping your horse healthy and safe is a full-time job. But did you know that one of the most common issues horses face is photosensitivity? It’s true! From sunburn to blistering, photosensitivity can cause a lot of pain and discomfort in horses who are exposed to intense sunlight for too long. Let’s take a look at what photosensitivity is, how to prevent it, and natural ways to treat it if your horse does happen to get sunburned.

What is Photosensitivity?
Photosensitivity occurs when a horse’s sensitive skin is exposed to intense sunlight for extended periods of time. It can cause redness, swelling, and even blistering in some cases. In more severe cases, photosensitivity can lead to hair loss and even permanent scarring. Horses who suffer from this condition usually become uncomfortable or agitated in direct sunlight and may have difficulty sleeping at night due to the pain or discomfort caused by the condition.

How Can I Prevent Photosensitivity?
The best way to prevent photosensitivity in your horse is by limiting their exposure to direct sunlight as much as possible. Make sure your horse always has access to shade when they are outside in the sun, whether it’s under trees or with the use of an umbrella or canopy. Be sure to check their body regularly for any signs of redness or swelling that could indicate that they are getting too much sun exposure. If you notice these signs, move them into the shade immediately and let them rest until their symptoms subside. You should also consider using UV protective gear such as fly masks with UV protection when your horse is out in direct sunlight for extended periods of time grazing or on longs trail rides. Our Soothing & Calm Sunscreen is a great long lasting option when other sun protection isn't available. This will help protect their sensitive skin from getting burned or damaged by the sun’s rays.
Natural Remedies for Photosensitivity
If your horse does happen to get sunburned, there are several natural remedies that can help soothe their skin and reduce inflammation. Soothing & Calm Aloe Vera gel applied directly onto affected areas has been known to reduce redness and itching associated with photosensitivity while also helping speed up healing time. We would also advise washing in our Soothing & Calm Shampoo and Conditioner which should help reduce inflammation associated with sunburn while moisturising their skin at the same time - just be sure not to use too hot of water so that you don't burn them further! Additionally, certain herbs such as chamomile, calendula, St John's wort, lavender, chamomile tea bags (steeped first!), comfrey leaf powder mixed with water into a paste - all work great! Finally - consider adding omega oils into your horses feed daily - these contain fatty acids that help moisturise from within!
All in all – photosensitivity is a very real issue for horses – but there are plenty of ways we can help protect our equine friends from its effects! From limiting exposure times in direct sunlight – providing shaded areas – using appropriate UV protective gear – applying Sunscreen Powder and using natural remedies like Aloe Vera gel directly onto affected areas - plus adding certain herbs & oils into our horses' diets – we can make sure our horses stay healthy & happy despite being out under the blazing summer sunshine! So next time you head outdoors with your horse – make sure you're prepared & have taken all necessary steps to ensure they're protected against photo sensitivity! Keep those four-legged friends safe out there!