Recently we wrote a blog on protecting your horses skin from the sun, but wanted to emphasize that it’s just as important that you also protect YOUR skin from the sun. Excessive sun can not only cause dryness and burning, but is also the leading cause of skin cancer. Remember that your skin can be damaged by the sun even on cloudy days.
For best protection, don’t head out on a ride without your sunscreen! Use a sunscreen with a high SPF rating and don’t forget to reapply frequently. Make sure you cover areas including the back of your neck and your neckline. To make sure you always have sunscreen on hand, keep a bottle of lotion or a spray-on product in your tack locker or grooming kit.
When shopping for summer riding clothes, consider choosing ones that are UV-protectant. They may be more expensive, but wearing clothes that can protect you from the sun is a smart idea. Some are created with high necks and long sleeves that can protect your skin, but are still cool and breathable enough to ride in.
Your riding helmet can also help shade your face from the sun. For extra protection, you can buy an extra large brim for your helmet to cover more. If you are working around the barn, most riders grab a baseball cap, but a regular hat with a brim will better protect your face and neck.
Finally, just as you monitor your horse’s skin, keep an eye on your skin, looking for any suspicious moles or spots. If you see anything unusual, be sure to get it checked out by a health care professional. Catching potential skin problems early gives you the best chance for successful treatment.