At what point do you draw the line? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 23 Old 07-04-2012, 11:38 AM
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No one in southern Az, (Tucson, Phoenix, all surrounding areas) would ride a single day at ANY time during the months of late June through early Aug.were we to follow such a chart. Daily after about 7 am and until about 2 am, the temp does not usually drop below 90 & the humidity is 40-70%...(monsoon season) we don't ride long if the ride is strenuous, and if it is a longer ride, we make sure it's simpler/less taxing to horse and rider.

We drink H20 & sports drinks constantly but interestingly, the horses still drink in early am (dawn) & evening (dusk) & always check their feeders before they even think about h20 once they are returned to their stalls after their's uncanny! I would think, "I've gotta drink!" Were I a horse, but they seen relatively unfazed!

We still ride as early am or late in the evening as possible, but I imagine with all the ranchers, there is some work they MUST DO middle of the day, and I PERSONALLY haven't ever heard of a horse here with heat exhaustion, etc...though I imagine it happens...I think they DO ADAPT fairly well, but we do have a choice and try to make things as comfy as possible for them...

I think once monsoons are over, the heat issue is less, as stated, due to the lower to non-existent humidity!

"I'm too busy working on my own grass to notice if yours is greener"

Last edited by Back2Horseback; 07-04-2012 at 11:43 AM. Reason: Arghh/typos!
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post #12 of 23 Old 07-04-2012, 12:02 PM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Central Illinois
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I usually try to go with the "If I'm not happy, the horses arent happy" rule as well. I will not plan a ride if the temps are going to be above 90ish here because our humidity levels are so high once it hits that temp it really is unbearable. Occasionally if I can get out of bed early enough, I might do a light ride early in the morning before the real heat sets in. We have had 100+ days with heat index around 110 or so for the last week. There isnt really an end in sight. My horses are visibally uncomfortable out in the pasture so I cant imagine making them haul me around in it :)

Where you are planning on riding could also make a difference. Are you going to be trail riding? If so, will it be in the woods in the shade or out in the sun? Will it be a hard paced with lots of hills or slow and fairly flat? Just some things to consider.
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post #13 of 23 Old 07-04-2012, 04:43 PM
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An interesting point about horses looking uncomfortable...none of my trainer's EVER appear such, even mid-day when I'm dyin' in the shade!

In fact, after my ride on Sun am (8 am start grooming/tacking, with ride started by 9:30 & horse clean and back in her stall by 10:50am) I realized that I had worked about 100x's harder than she when I got her into the washrack and felt her chest (to be sure she was cooled out enough for a hose down & she was cool as a cucumber while I was STILL dripping in sweat! :0)

These AZ, born/raised horses don't get hot as readily, I am convinced...when I got her tack off, the only indication on her of the heat were the moderatly wet areas beneath her saddle pad and girth and the popping out veins on her inner upper hind legs! She had no veins popping even in her neck...

Yes, she is a 4th level dressage horse AND a hunter (ridden in both disciplines...she prefers getting to carry herself like a hunter naturally, as this avoids having to carry herself consistently in a frame ;}) & is in phenomenal physical condition, yet, one would a THINK the heat would get her a BIT, but nah! I'm very glad, don't get me wrong, but I have yet to see any of Holly's horses drip/lather up while working unless it's just a very tough workout, beyond what I am CAPABLE OF GIVING her at this point! :0)
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post #14 of 23 Old 07-04-2012, 05:03 PM
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I live in New Jersey and we have had awful hot & humid weather lately.... this is the chart I go by......Temp + Humidity ....under 120 = safe to ride......120 to 150 a horses cooling system will not work well....Above 180=Very Dangerous.

I haven't been riding lately!! Waiting for the cooler weather!! Don't like this heat & humidity!!!!
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post #15 of 23 Old 07-04-2012, 06:22 PM
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Location: US
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I NEVER ride above 85, but my horse is very sensitive to the heat.
Whatever your horse and you are comfortable working in.
I would say not above 90, my opinion though :)

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post #16 of 23 Old 07-04-2012, 06:38 PM
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Haha summers here have gotten as high as 120 degrees. I won't ride during the day at all unless I have to during the summer. Usually early morning and towards evening as the best.
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post #17 of 23 Old 07-04-2012, 08:27 PM
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Location: Northern Ontario
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I personally draw the line between 85-90. Depends on the humidity, breeze, etc. On hotter days I'll stick with a quiet hack or trail, and cooler days I'll do my regular school. I actually prefer riding in the evening rather than early morning. I swear it's getting hotter and more humid each morning!
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post #18 of 23 Old 07-04-2012, 08:30 PM
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The hottest day I rode was about 95. We hardly did anything, then went and hosed off for about an hour, then stood in the shade.

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post #19 of 23 Old 07-04-2012, 09:21 PM
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If I'm not comfortable, we don't ride. Lucky for my horses I don't have a high humidity tolerance. We did go out last year when the temps were over 95, but the humidity was very low and we were in the woods. It really wasn't bad at all. There are other times it reaches 85 but the humidity is high and there is no way I'm swinging a saddle on their back.

All I pay my psychiatrist is cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day!

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post #20 of 23 Old 07-05-2012, 02:38 PM
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Not living in an area with truly high humidity except during various hours of the day during a month and a half of the summer, but having grown up summers in Connecticut where it TRULY IS HUMID all SUMMER, every day, any time; I can certainly recognize the oppressive nature of humidity combined with heat and its ability to cause internal human and animal cooling systems to malfunction!

I think that its why in Southern AZ/NM, etc...we are used to riding/working in the 110 heat and so are our horses...yes, it its dramatically hot, but, we can still sweat and replace fluids & electrolytes at a similar rate of speed. As long as that occurs, we do well. Don't replace or take frequent rest breaks in a shady/cooler area? You can drop dead in under 45"!

Being smarter than the climate, or rather, understanding the climate and what it requires, for you, your horse and anyone young/elderly/unable to make educated decisions (newcomers to a true desert climate, etc...) is the only way to stay safe in the Sonoran Desert in the summer...
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"I'm too busy working on my own grass to notice if yours is greener"
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