The best I do in a heat is brushing and hosing.
P.S. Frankly I don't think loading in trailer (especially nervous horse that can sweat easily), riding bareback, or even ground work are "heat-friendly".
The most important thing is that a person use common sense. No you wouldn't drag around a strung out horse on a hot day to try something new. A good hot day success might be just being near the trailer quietly.
I think you're overestimating what I'm doing :)
I was talking about bareback riding in the sense of doing a very slow meander, not a working gait by any stretch of the imagination. About the pace they move around in the field. It's really more of a "wander around quietly while I sit here" thing. My horse hasn't done bareback and I haven't much either so it's just keeping things nice and quiet. No galloping off into the sunset!
Groundwork as in walking, stopping, turning, introducing things like side passing. Not at "working" speeds. Not doing things like trying to trot it canter in hand or hard corrections. Low pressure, easy chance for success goals. Getting a horse to learn to move away by pressing a finger to his shoulder is not going to inspire a heat stroke. But little things like that which are so handy for a horse to know often get overlooked when the weather is friendlier for riding. I wouldn't think someone would try a lunging session!
Loading in a trailer again doesn't have to be a scary experience and obviously with the heat you're not keeping at it until the horse is on. However, trying to get the horse to walk up to it, next to it, learn to stand tied to it -- that's all both groundwork and trailer work -- low pressure, easy chances for success. Heck even setting a bucket at the far edge of a trailer and getting a horse to eat from that is a success to some!
Of course a good horse owner should be taking the level of heat, heat tolerance and temperament of their horse in question. Also sometimes it's hit but still rideable but you simply don't feel like it but not everyone can rattle off a list of other things to do, and that is what this thread was supposed to accomplish. Bear in mind that common sense and observation should be applied. On a super hot day, I wouldn't walk my horse on a 3 mile trail, but half a mile to the creek and back wont cause harm. Especially if it's a super slow walk with lots of grazing and cow staring LOL
The key to doing things in the heat are knowing limitations, being sensible and keeping things low pressure with super lowered goals (as low as one foot stepping right is a success if need be) and lots of chances for the horse to earn a "good boy". Posted via Mobile Device