"Is it too hot to ride?" - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 06-06-2017, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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"Is it too hot to ride?"

It's getting to the time of year when we start seeing threads asking this question.

The US Polo Association put out nice guidelines regarding a heat index and working one's horse. My only caveat is that most polo ponies are extremely fit, so adjust for the fitness of your mount.

"The following rule of thumb has been devised as a guide. If the sum of the temperature and humidity is:
∑ Less than 130 - no problem;
∑ Greater than 150 - use caution, especially if the humidity is greater than half of the total;
∑ Greater than 180 - use extreme caution, since normal cooling is almost ineffectual and horses may resort to panting."

heat-index-warning_170605_201638 (1).jpg

Courtesy uspolo.org
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post #2 of 27 Old 06-06-2017, 11:46 PM
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Thank you, that's an easy to use graph. I hope the mods pin it at the top.
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post #3 of 27 Old 06-06-2017, 11:46 PM
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This ought to get a 'sticky'. It's excellent info to have.

It's only the 6th of June and today we were 92 F & 78% humidity, so 170 total and it's not even summer yet.
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post #4 of 27 Old 06-07-2017, 12:02 AM
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We hit a 100 last week. I usually ride in the early morning or late this time of year.
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post #5 of 27 Old 06-07-2017, 02:41 AM
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Thank you. My mare was throwing a fit on Sunday. It felt like I was trying to ride an unbroken horse. She is usually a really good little horse. The only thing I can think of is that she has more sense than me and was telling me that it's too hot. Last night she was back to her mild manners. Maybe I should stick to riding in the cooler parts of the day.
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post #6 of 27 Old 06-07-2017, 06:52 AM
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Ditto this should be a sticky at the top.

We also have already had several days with the combined heat/humidity over 150:(

My rule has always been, if it's too hot and sweaty for me, it's too hot for the horse:)

Thank Boots for posting this table:)
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post #7 of 27 Old 06-07-2017, 06:56 AM
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Wow... I had to convert that to Celcius. 130 F is about 54 C - crazy! I've seen it get into the low 40s with the humidity, but don't recall ever seeing it get to 50. Even if my horses were ok (they wouldn't be), I wouldn't want to ride in that!!! My point is: there is great variability in horses, but also, in climates. Horses that rarely ever see more than 30 C may not be able to cope with 50 C regardless of what the chart says.

Edited to add: it was barely above freezing last night. We haven't been able to plant our gardens yet because of the cold temps we've been having.

Edited again... is the second line up from the bottom wrong? The last number is 700 :)

Last edited by Acadianartist; 06-07-2017 at 07:02 AM.
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post #8 of 27 Old 06-07-2017, 07:41 AM
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I've been trying to get as much in now as possible.
For Florida, the evenings have been pretty nice. The spring showed no rain what so ever so humidity was extremely low for here. Now we're getting it and it's leaving cool evenings.
Usually by this time of year I'm not riding at all. I'ts just too hot for all of us and the horses are spending there days between some grazing and loafing around under shade and fans.

@Acadianartist You are right. I'm sure our horses fare a whole lot better down here in the humidity than your guys would just because they are used to it. Still, our riding time down here is in the fall, winter, and spring. Summers down here are ridiculous even if you were to ride in the middle of the night.

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post #9 of 27 Old 06-07-2017, 08:04 AM
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Hi All!

I don't have to worry about my critters and the heat, their daddy wimps out way before it gets hot enough to bother them

AA, yea; there is something wrong with the data in that line. Also, the numbers are the _sum_ of temperature and humidity. Not too many places in the world see 130F/50C.
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Last edited by george the mule; 06-07-2017 at 08:10 AM.
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post #10 of 27 Old 06-07-2017, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by george the mule View Post
Hi All!

AA, yea; there is something wrong with the data in that line. Also, the numbers are the _sum_ of temperature and humidity. Not too many places in the world see 130F/50C.
Yes, I'm aware that it's the sum of both. There is a similar scale in Celcius. Even so, we rarely get over 30 C (86 F) in the heat of the day here WITHOUT the humidity so 100F (again, before factoring humidity) would be a rare occurrence here. Humidity can get high, but rarely comes with high heat. Anyway, my point was that it is all relative, and that horses are used to different climates.
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