Lifehacks For Horse Riding In Hot Weather
Let’s get hyped up! It is finally summer after a harsh winter and a muddy spring. Everyone has plenty of time to ride thanks to the extended daylight. However, summer comes with its own challenges. The weather gets way too hot, so horses and riders sweat too much during the ride, there is always an infinite thirst, and flies… Flies are everywhere!
If you have started worrying about your summer at the barn, stick with us for a little while longer. We have some lifesaver tips for you and your horse.
FOR THE RIDER
Every year, we look forward to the summer so that we can have some quality time with our real best friends, but the heat almost kills us after every ride. If you are one of us, welcome to the club! Here are some tips to make your summer rides more bearable:
You might think wearing sleeveless tops and shorts will keep you cool, but that is wrong when it comes to horse riding! While riding out in the sun, you will need to cover yourself as much as possible. Wearing long sleeves will protect your skin from sunburns and bugs. Remember to pick a technical fabric that is breathable enough. Same with the bottom, socks, and gloves. With the developing technology, you can easily find breathable materials everywhere. Try to wear breeches or tights that allow air circulation on your skin to avoid any sweat irritation. Also, avoid dark clothes. Bright colors reflect the sunlight and don’t absorb the heat. Summer is the season of light colors, pick your favorite!
Some riders tend to throw away the helmet in summer. We understand how hard it is to wear a helmet when you feel like your brain is boiling inside. Yet, this is highly risky. You should always wear a helmet. Instead, you can try to pick a proper helmet for hot weather. Nowadays, there are thousands of options, and most of them come with ventilation windows. Besides the ventilation, keep in mind to buy a helmet that has a visor to keep your eyes safe and a mesh liner to keep your head cool.
Staying hydrated is the most important thing you should remember. We equestrians are so busy with taking care of our horses and planning our next training session that we might forget to drink water. With all the fuss in such hot weather, your body will get dehydrated very quickly. When you feel the thirst, it might be too late. Try to drink water more often. You can get the necessary water intake with frequent small sips. Try to carry a water bottle everywhere you go. If drinking water is not your favorite, you can throw some fruit slices into your bottle to make it fun.
Don’t forget to get a bottle of sunscreen that is suitable for your skin type. Then, use it! Use it every time your skin is going to be exposed to sunlight directly. It is a well-known fact that long-term direct exposure to sunlight increases the risk of skin cancer. If this doesn’t convince you to wear your sunscreen, remember that getting serious sunburns will mean that you won’t be able to ride in the sunlight for a while. Keep in mind to carry your sunscreen in your bag and use it on your face, neck, and any other area that will get direct sunlight.
If those flies keep chasing and attacking you, first of all, wear long sleeves. Consider using bug repellent sprays for yourself. If you don’t like the bug repellents, you can try carrying some dryer sheets with you. Hanging a dryer sheet to your pocket can create a bug-repelling effect. It turns out that bugs and flies do not like the refreshing smell of the sheets.
FOR THE HORSE
Horse care can be quite tricky during extreme weather conditions. As reallu hot days are coming, itis your responsibility to make sure that your horse gets the necessary care. Here are some small tips you can try this summer to keep your horse comfortable:
For body maintenance, an average horse needs at least 5 gallons of water a day. This can easily double or triple when they’re working hard in hot weather, so make sure your horse is hydrated throughout summer. If your horse is not drinking enough water, check and clean the water throughs. During the hottest season, you might consider adding a few ice cubes and even frozen fruits to the water and make it more interesting for your horse.
Flies can be seriously everywhere during summer. Even though they are small, they are capable of turninig the summer into misery for horses and riders. You probably use a fly spray, but to protect your horse’s eyes and ears, you should consider getting fly masks. These light products don’t only protect from flies but also prevent sunburns around the sensitive equine eye. If you notice horseflies bothering your horse, you might also get a summer sheet to protect the whole body. Don't ever skip the grooming and check your horse’s coat thoroughly.This will help you notice any bug bites or irritations and take action on time.
If your barn is not air-conditioned or ventilated, you should definitely think about getting some fans or ventilators to install in the stable. When the weather is too hot, horses will need more fresh air than normal. The humidity might make it even harder to breathe in the stalls with all the dust. If you are boarding your horse at a barn, you can ask your barn owner and other riders about the ventilation in the stalls.
It is time to think about your horse’s sunlight exposure. If you ride between 11 am - 2 pm, you might want to change the schedule and ride early in the morning or in the evening. Avoid riding at noon. If you are unable to change your riding schedule, you can consider nighttime turnout for your horse. This will reduce the time it spends in the sunlight and allow getting more fresh air when the weather is no longer hot.
In addition to changing your schedules, you should take precautions for sunburns. Yes, some horses can get sunburnt. Especially horses with pink areas around the eyes and muzzle are prone to getting sunburns. You can apply sunscreen on these areas before going out in the daylight or protect your horse’s face with a fly mask.
- Breathable Tack
Your horse will need breathable tack during the summer to avoid extreme sweating under the saddle! Keep up with the equestrian fashion while enjoying the profits of the breathable saddle pads. Take a look at our collection now!