The heat index is 103 degree. HOT! Fortunately, right now I’m at work where they keep it approximately the same temp as the inside of a fridge, which is why a lot times I look like I’m dressed for fall during the dog days of summer. When it’s this hot, riding usually isn’t going to be fun, for you or the horse.
When it’s too hot for boots, jeans, and a ride, I try to come up with other things to do out at the barn that involve staying cooler! Here are some ideas!
- Bath time! a nice cool, bath is a great way to cool your horse down and make them look beautiful at the same time! (you also won’t mind the inevitable 2nd-hand shower!) Just be sure if you decide to wear shorts, to still wear at least some sturdy tennis shoes, in case you get stepped on!
- Drying in front of a big, big fan!
- Sharing a refreshing drink…horses sometimes don’t drink as much as they should during the hot days, add some powdered Gatorade to your horses bucket. The electrolytes will keep your horse drinking and hydrated through the heat! And while you’re at it, better keep your self hydrated too!
- Throw a damp rag or washcloth in a freezer or cooler with ice for a while then throw it around your neck. It’ll keep you cool for a bit!
- Sunscreen! If you can’t avoid the sun at your barn don’t forget the sunscreen! Sunburn on top of heat exhaustion makes it that much worse! Don’t forget your horse though too, especially light-colored horses and those with a lot of white on their faces! Exhibitor Labs makes specifically equine sunscreen, Quic Shade (found at Valley Vet).
- Time your barn time well! Get up early before it gets hot or wait until the temp starts dropping for the evening before heading to the barn.