There is no denying the fact that it is hotter than heck in most of the country right now. At what point do you draw the line between okay to ride and not? Have a clinic Wednesday and it is supposed to be 95 degrees.
I think there's some equation you can do to figure out where it'll become dangerous to ride...something with humidity and the actual temperature...
Here you go, it's called the "Heat Stress Index". From what I just read via Google, it appears that anything over 120 on the index poses "extreme" danger to horses in work, below that it's dangerous but, I guess, manageable.
As long as the horses and I are doing okay, we ride.
It's been getting near and a little over 100 here in the afternoons and no one has had problems. I thought it was because our low humidity, but we have some people up from the Aiken, SC area and they tell us it was hitting 110 and a bit more and they rode without problems, too.
I think of ranchers in AZ, NM, and old Mexico. You adapt. So do the horses.
We don't have a heat index in California, but don't ride if its over about 90 degrees. When I vacationed in Arkansas we were advised not to ride if the heat index was 100 or over. Hope this is helpful.
As you can see in the charts, when it's hot, the humidity is actually more important than the temperature because it affects the ability to cool by sweating. When it's 90+, there is a big difference between riding in the southwest where the humidity is <10% and here in the southeast where the humidity is 50+%. If I'm out riding after 11am here, it's so hot and muggy that the mares are literally dripping sweat even at a walk.
I don't like heat or humidity, so if I'm not comfortable, I won't ride. I like it around 75 but have rode when it was warmer. Actually, I would rather ride in 20 to 30 degrees than above 90. Posted via Mobile Device
When the actual temperature and the realtive humidity add up to 150 it is to hot to ride for horse and rider. Example: 95 degrees F
+55 percent humidity
So any percetage of humidity over 55 with 95 degree temperature is the rule of thumb.