As horse owners, ensuring the well-being of our equine companions extends to safeguarding them from the sun's potential harm. While providing shelter and shade are primary measures, additional protection like specialized equine sunscreens, such as NRG Noze Cream, can offer targeted defence against sunburn and related issues. 

UV, short for ultraviolet, refers to the energy emitted by the sun. While UV serves as a natural source of vitamin D, excessive exposure can lead to issues like sunburn. Unlike feeling the sun's heat or seeing its light, UV rays are undetectable to us. Hence, taking pre-emptive measures to shield your horse from UV becomes essential, as the effects may only become apparent after damage occurs. Let's delve into the specific ways UV impacts horses: 

  • Coat Affects: During summer, you might notice colour changes in your horse's coat, especially in darker horses like bays and blacks. This alteration is due to prolonged sun exposure, which damages melanin, the pigment responsible for coat colour. The coat may appear lighter until the new coat grows in. Factors like genetics and diet, particularly mineral deficiencies in zinc and copper, can contribute to sun bleaching. 

Understanding Sunburn in Horses

Horses, despite their hair covering, can suffer from sunburn. Those with minimal pigmentation, like greys, palominos, duns, or cremellos, are more susceptible. Areas with white hair or pink skin, including face markings and legs, are particularly sensitive. Sunburn can be painful and potentially lead to skin damage and infections spread by insects. 


UV Protection Measures 

  • Shelter and Shade: Offering ample shaded areas during peak sunlight hours remains fundamental in preventing sunburn. Trees, run-in sheds, and specially designed shade structures create sanctuaries from direct UV exposure. 

  • Summer Sheets and Masks: Equine-specific UV-protective gear acts as a physical barrier, covering vulnerable areas like the neck and face. These garments, including masks and summer sheets, provide an additional layer of defence. 
  • Equine Sunscreens: NRG Noze Cream, among other equine sunscreens, is formulated specifically for horses. These products offer targeted protection, especially for sensitive areas. NRG Noze Cream, for instance, shields the nose from UV rays while moisturising and nourishing the skin. When using such products, it is crucial to follow application instructions and reapply as needed. 

Additional Considerations

  • Dietary Supplements: Certain supplements enriched with omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants can support skin health and resilience against sun damage. 
  • Strategic Turnout Hours: Adjusting turnout schedules to avoid peak sunlight hours helps minimise UV exposure, especially during summer. 
  • Hydration and Cooling: Access to clean water and environmental cooling methods, like fans or misters in stables, prevent overheating, which can exacerbate sun-related discomfort. 

Caring for our horses involves safeguarding them from various elements, including the sun's harmful UV rays. By employing a combination of shelter, UV protective rugs and fly masks, sunscreen, grooming, and strategic management of their environment, we can significantly reduce the risk of sunburn and related issues for our beloved equine companions.

Remember, each horse is unique, and factors like coat colour, skin sensitivity, and environmental conditions play a role in determining their susceptibility to sun damage. Regular monitoring, appropriate protection measures, and consulting with a veterinarian for specific concerns are integral parts of ensuring your horse's well-being. 

Investing in sun protection for horses is not just about preventing sunburn—it is about nurturing their health and happiness for the long run. With thoughtful care and attention, we can help our horses thrive under the sun while keeping them safe and comfortable.