How to Keep Your Horse from Getting Sunburned

Posted by Paige Cerulli

With the summer sun shining down, it's more important now than ever to take steps to keep your horse from getting sunburned.

If you've ever had a sunburn, then you know how painful it can be. But imagine if you stood outside in the sun every day during the summer. The chances of sunburn dramatically increased, and once you're sunburned, it can get even worse when you go outside the next day.

That's exactly what your horse has to deal with. Horses with lighter colored muzzles and light skin around their eyes are particularly at risk of being sunburned.

Here are some ways you can keep your horse from getting sunburned.

Apply Sunscreen

Mike Mozart via

One of the best defenses against sunburn is to apply sunscreen, and yes, you can put sunscreen on your horse.

Look for a human sunscreen with a high SPF which you can rub onto your horse's nose. There are also horse sunscreen sprays which you can spray all over your horse's body; this can help to protect him from the sun's rays.

Be sure to reapply sunscreen regularly to keep your horse protected.

Provide Shade

Steve Shattuck via

Make sure that your horse has access to a shaded area during the day. Giving your horse a run-in shed provides him with a way to get out of the sun when he's hot.

This will also give his skin a break from the sun, helping to reduce the chances that he will be sunburned.

Put on a UV-Resistant Fly Mask and Fly Sheet

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Five Furlongs via

There are many different fly masks and fly sheets for sale which are UV-resistant. These masks and sheets can provide your horse with protection from the sun's UV rays.

As an added bonus, these sheets and masks can help prevent darker horses' coats from bleaching in the sun.

Turn Your Horse Out at Night


In the midst of the summer, it may be best to switch your horse to nighttime turnout. Turning your horse out at night keeps him out of the sun, and also allows him to go out when the temperature is cooler and the flies aren't as active.

If you can't turn your horse out at night, then it may be worth it to bring him inside during the hours when the sun is strongest - generally between noon and the early afternoon.

With some careful preventive measures, you can help to keep your horse from being sunburned even during the hot summer weather.

Do you have any tips for preventing your horse from getting sunburned? Tell us in the comments below. 

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How to Keep Your Horse from Getting Sunburned