Classic Equine Connection

Keep Your Horse Cool During A Summer Ride

Posted by Classic Equine Equipment Blog on Jul 14, 2021 2:00:00 PM

Summer is a great time to own a horse, but summer also means hot weather. Here are some tips on keeping your horse cool during summer rides.

Classic Equine Equipment Blog Volare Stables-Ride early in the morning or in the evening. It is usually hottest from about 1pm – 5pm so before or after is better, even if it means changing your regular ride time.

-Ride under covered or in cool shady places when possible. If you must ride in the heat of the day, ride under a covered arena or shaded trail. You are more likely to stay several degrees cooler when the sun isn't beating down on you. However, if it’s before or after the heat, you may find a nice breeze if you ride outdoors.

-Dark colored horses – like dark-colored clothes – will absorb more of the sun’s rays and become hotter. So be extra vigilant with dark skin animals.

-On the other hand, light-colored horses or horses with any white markings are more susceptible to sunburn. Make sure you put a light coat of sunscreen on the tip of your horse’s ears, on his nose and any other white spots that may be exposed to the sun.

-Look for high-tech fabrics in saddle pads. Many pads are textured or made of fabrics designed to keep your horse cool under the saddle. Remember that dark colors absorb heat, so think white saddle pads. Or, if you feel comfortable, ride bareback.

-Keep your workouts short. Do just enough to keep your horse in shape and his mind sharp.

-Even though it’s hot out, it’s still important to do your warm ups before tackling any serious riding. Walks on a loose rein with transitions or changes of direction are usually enough.

Classic Equine Equipment Blog-Of course, you must cool your horse down after riding. Because it’s hot out, don’t expect to get your horse down to no sweating. Just give muscles time to relax. If you can get off and hand walk him, this can be better.

-Periodically offer short water breaks while cooling him off. Hold off on a deep drink until after he’s relatively cool.

-A post workout shower is always appreciated but, again, wait until he’s pretty well cooled off. Your initial tendency may be to turn on the cold water, but warm going gradually to cool is less of a shock to his system. Though it may be warm at shower time, it may get cool later in the evening so consider if your horse will need a light cooler if he’s still wet.

-Finally, know the symptoms for heat exhaustion in your horse and how to treat it. Left untreated, it can lead to the more severe heat stroke.

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