Written by Chloe Friedheim.
Nearing August, we are in the midst of heat wave after heat wave, and the temperatures rarely drop below 90. It is hard enough finding ways to stay cool by ourselves but having to also keep track of another animal while exercising can become tiring.
For the horses, it is smart to be aware of the heat, especially when the humidity and heat come together to produce an even more heat than what’s listed on the temperature gauge. Here is an article that provides tips for keeping a horse cool, and debunks frequent rumors surrounding horse’s overheating: http://www.equisearch.com/article/cooling-out-hot-horse-17252
For the riders, there are many easy ways to keep cool while riding. There are ice fill shirts that provide comfort during a ride. These shirts are offered from companies such as Tailored Sportsman, Ariat, and Kerrits. There are also certain helmets that provide maximum ventilation. After a sweaty ride, a helmet can become smelly, so there are sprays that can clear the helmet’s odors. For instance, Charles Owens offers a helmet deodorizer.
Riding in an ice fill technology shirt can be great when schooling at home, but for horse shows there are also other cool horse show shirts. Ariat and other brands offer show shirts that are short sleeve, which can be extremely helpful on a hot show day.
While Gatorade may help in certain situations after an especially strenuous ride, it is important to keep cool water by you during or after a ride. Keeping hydrated while exercising is vital during these hot months, as is eating in order to stay energized. Make sure you bring water with you to the barn, preferably one of those huge water bottles so you don’t run out. For horses, sometimes getting them to drink water can be a bit difficult. There are many ways to help encourage a horse to drink water. Some people swear by putting Gatorade in their horse’s water to encourage drinking. There are also electrolyte supplements that encourage horses to drink.
And remember, if you think it’s too hot to ride – it probably is! Save your ride for another day, not just for your sake but for the sake of your horse. Horses can get heat exhaustion and heat stroke too which can lead to other complications, including death.