Hot Weather Riding
I am in South Texas. It gets hot. Aside from the obvious tips of drinking water, electrolytes and sunscreen as needed, what tips do you all have for staying cool, healthy and as comfortable as possible? Especially with regards to preventing rubbing, chafing and heat rash (for me or the horse). Night riding is not an option for me.
When you are done riding, and go to hose your horse off.. hose yourself off too!
Honestly never have gotten chaffed or rubbed so not sure what you mean by that!
It helps to wear light clothes, like tank tops or breathable polos.
Well, I have one pair of pants I quit wearing to ride because after a half hour or so I would have rubs on the inside of my knees from the seam. And another pair of pants I recently discovers gives me a rub sore somewhere less ... mentionable... after about two hours of riding. Until recently, I've been a person who just rides in whatever clothes happen to be at hand, but I'm beginning to learn that doing it that way doesn't always go well for me. Add in wearing my camelback and more straps and potential sore spots, I just want to learn as many lessons from OTHER people's personal experience as is possible. :)
Do you ride english or western?
I have severely sensitive skin and cannot be fully exposed in sunlight for long periods of time. (I have to keep everything but my arms covered). I wear light cottony shirts a lot. The fabric is so thin and light that it doesn't do much to bother me heat wise, but it keeps me cool AND bug free! I also wear sweat proof sun screen that is broad spectrum. When I used to have horses that had pink skin, I would put sun screen on their noses and wherever there is exposed skin to keep them from getting burned.
Do you know what drinkable aloe vera is? It will keep you boosted through tough heat and it is very good, although the good stuff gets spendy. The minute you start feeling dizzy from heat you neeeed to dismount or risk passing out and kerplunking onto the ground. If it is so hot that heat rash could be happening, I would suggest early morning rides, or evening rides, or as already suggested swimming with your horse. I have had heat rash and have been in ER with a sever sunburn, it is ridiculously painful, and I consider it being more painful then when I was kicked in the face by a horse. Keep benadryl with you in case of a severe sun burn or heat rash because the benadryl is an antihistamine and will work against the sun burn that makes you super itchy.
At this point I try to stay out of the sun if it gets to hot because I am so sensitive to it. Riding in the afternoon at the heat of the day is not an option for me. Just make sure you know when hot is to hot, and that you know the warning signs of heat stroke and such. I wouldn't want you to get hurt dear!
I ride English, though more because that is the saddle I have than any great belief that it is better (or worse). I wish that swimming was an option but we just have mudholes and swamps and then the ocean with a half mile out to anything deeper than knee height, so that would be a little bit of a challenge for us.
I think that long light shirts sounds like a very good idea. I might have to go looking for some. I typically ride in the evening, after the sun's started coming down. I am all too familiar with the signs of heat stress, both on my end an others and will definitely keep it in mind. I have heard that you can eat aloe vera, but am not very familiar with it.
For yourself do whatever works.
During the hotter months I don't ride as much and when I do it's usually during the cooler times of day (e.g. early morning), since they'll work up a sweat just from leading them along the road.
If you're riding and there's a source of water that comes up over the horse's knees you can stand them in the water to cool them down some. Horses will transfer the heat well from their legs.
If you choose to soak your horse down (pond, hose or whatever) you will need to remove as much water as possible from the upper parts of their body. Leaving water in their coat will increase the heat. There are scrappers you can use to remove the water or even a good brush can help remove water from they backs, rump, sides and neck.
Of course standing in front of a fan, AC, putting on ice packs all work too.
I have a pair of kerrits breeches that have this lining that seem to wick away moisture, sweat from your body and I wear them with short paddock boots which helps with heat instead of wearing the tall boots or 1/2 chaps. Also a light weight vented helmet as I am wearing in the vid, has a brim to keep the sun out of your eyes. I also find relief from the heat by riding in the woods where it's shaded if that is possible for you. Even wet towel on the back of the neck & over your arms will cool you down quite a bit.
I love it! Aside from avoiding the sun and midday heat, I've got:
1. Long sleeves in a light material
2. Upgrade my $20 troxel brain case
3. Install some fans
4. Hose down everyone
5. Look into dietary supplements
6. Get proper pants/breeches, not the stuff I have from walmart
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