During the hottest parts of the summer, it can be hard to fit in horse riding. The heat means it’s often uncomfortable to be working with horses in the heat. Therefore you must take extra care on days like these because usually both us and our horses aren’t very used to it. Most of us try to ride at either end of the day. Catching the cooler hours which make it a lot more comfortable for both horse and rider. But if you cannot, you must do the following.
Staying hydrated is probably very obvious, but we will still say it – make sure you’re hydrated. Horses can double their water intake on hot days, so make sure they’ve had some too. Or at least had the option to drink– as they say you can take a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink!
Wearing a hat, long leather boots, long breeches or jodhpurs, and sometimes even a body protector can feel like too much. These items, while safety-focused, will obviously add to the heat that you’re feeling. Do you have lighter weight options you could wear?
It is essential to plan your session.
Have a goal, so you’re not trotting about circle after circle in the heat. Have something in mind as a benchmark, and when you get to that, the session is finished.
Riding in the heat is harder for both athletes and horses. It’s best to leave sessions a little shorter, which, if appropriately planned, can still be worthwhile.
If you are working with horses in the heat, remember to get a proper cool-down and a wash. Make sure you’re cooling yourself down too! Maybe not with the hosepipe, but make sure you’ve had a cool down too before you’re off again!