Tips on keeping cool? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 44 Old 04-23-2019, 09:33 AM
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I don't have much business chiming in on a 'too hot' thread, seeing as our max temps are 30 tops for a couple days... but rubbing alcohol and water mixed in a spray bottle is supposed to be great at cooling you down. It evaporates much faster than just water.
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post #22 of 44 Old 04-23-2019, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACinATX View Post
Pre-sweat yourself, like you would a horse. Wear cotton or cotton blend clothing and douse yourself liberally about five-ten minutes before you start riding. Everyone loves to hate on cotton, but I think damp cotton is quite cooling. I have a visor that attaches to my helmet (and, sometimes, unfortunately detaches) that shades my face. Having loose, lightweight long sleeves can be more cooling sometimes than wearing a tight short-sleeved shirt.
I had this problem with my visor as well. I ended up zip tying it on. I have multiple helmets so when I didn't need it I just switched over to another one.
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post #23 of 44 Old 04-23-2019, 10:21 AM
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I have ridden in 110 with a 75% humidity... that was... yeah. Toasty. Our saving grace is we were in the woods on trails and the wind off Lake Texoma, as we got close to the water, was refreshing.

ANYWAY.

Water, water, water. Keep you AND your pony cool with water. For riding and for yard work - I work all summer through the heat, all day long - keep your HEAD soaked, keep those cool towels you have around your neck - they will cool the blood supply to your brain.

Sports drinks like gatorade are optional - but I've noticed Gatorade of today is NOT the salty/minerally/barely sweet drink it was when I was in HS and college. Had one the other day - it tasted syrupy, almost as sweet as actual Hawaiian Fruit Punch. They've packed a LOT of sugar in it now. So. To keep your electrolytes up, take a break, have a pickle juice shot or eat one of those huge dill pickles like they sell at ball games. Keep lemons and salt on hand, watermelon, cantaloupe, avocados, bananas, nectarines. Have those and a bottle of water for a snack when you start to feel light headed - but don't push yourself too far. A snack like that will come right back up if you're too hot and scarf it down too fast (BTDT)

Give your horse a hose down too, but be careful to not soak him with too cold water while he's hot. I let mine have a cool down period before they get a bath.

Take your horse swimming if you can - I don't necessarily mean like you see in videos and movies where you're both in over your heads - and if you DO try that!!!!! BE SURE you use split reins and no tie down.

What I mean though is if you have a lake or a pond you know is safe to wade in, lead them out into belly deep water with a halter and lead rope, no saddle. Let them play but be careful you don't stick in mud and fall down and get pawed - they won't be aiming for you, they'll be stomping the water to get cooled off.... I had one, Sarge, and he would motorboat - stick is nose in the water and blow bubbles, then lay on his side and swim around, find the shallows, wallow in the mud. Then he was done and happy. Trigger runs circles around me. Gina paws water up on her sides and back, and she's DONE. Dee yew enn ee DUN. Superman stands there in total bliss and likes to have it scooped onto his back. Each is different, and your horse will be too. Just use an abundance of caution if you go with the swimming/wading option and let your horse choose to follow you into the water.
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post #24 of 44 Old 04-23-2019, 10:22 AM
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This doesn't sound like common practice among those here, but over the summer I always wear a long sleeve cotton shirt. It keeps my arms protected from the sun. If I can manage a shirt with a collar I pop the collar as well to keep my chest and neck protected from direct sun. I also have used those cooling towels around my neck. Since heat escapes from heads and feet... take off your helmet and shoes as soon as you can after to help you cool off. Today's high is 80, which isn't too bad for me. But yesterday I was wearing a down jacket when it was 75 in the shade. I expect it will rise up into the 120's at some point over the summer again this year and every year with this climate we've been having. I also find that when my leather boots get wet from the hose after a bath that I feel cooler for a longer time.
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post #25 of 44 Old 04-23-2019, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Filou View Post
This doesn't sound like common practice among those here, but over the summer I always wear a long sleeve cotton shirt. It keeps my arms protected from the sun. If I can manage a shirt with a collar I pop the collar as well to keep my chest and neck protected from direct sun. I also have used those cooling towels around my neck. Since heat escapes from heads and feet... take off your helmet and shoes as soon as you can after to help you cool off. Today's high is 80, which isn't too bad for me. But yesterday I was wearing a down jacket when it was 75 in the shade. I expect it will rise up into the 120's at some point over the summer again this year and every year with this climate we've been having. I also find that when my leather boots get wet from the hose after a bath that I feel cooler for a longer time.

It is common practice where I live though. I see ranch hands and old mean alike wearing lightweight pearl snap shirts... WITH A WHITE COTTON UNDERSHIRT... the trick is to get is soaked with sweat, then the moisture wicking starts and you remain surprisingly cool.


I forgot to add to my previous post that I also recommend Dry Fit shirts, be they Nike, Underarmor, Reebok, or generic store brands. I bought about five Reebok shirts on clearance at Sam's Wholesale a couple of years ago and they are marvelous... again, it's the moisture wicking, so when you get that shirt soaked with sweat, or water you've doused your head with, those things are the BOMB for keeping you cool and they work nicely in cooler weather as an ultra light layer under multiple layers of hoodies and such.
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post #26 of 44 Old 04-23-2019, 08:27 PM
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Not cotton! Cotton traps moisture and it will not evaporate and you get all soupy. Loose, light-colored, breathable clothing. Fabrics (natural or artificial) that are designed to wick. Hydrate copiously. Wear sunscreen (no matter how much melanin you enjoy). Wear a tank-top, if you're feeling the free-arms look. Is it humid too, or just hot?
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post #27 of 44 Old 04-24-2019, 08:22 PM
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Oh boy do I feel your pain.... as much as I enjoy good weather I always brace myself once the last bit of “jacket” weather comes to an end.... I live in the Deep South (Georgia) and let me tell you, it is truly an effort to ride in the kind of heat we have. Not only that but our wonderful early springs clear out around May and the temps and humidity become a big issue, for me anyway, that last well into late October. I have a vest that is purposely made to soak in water and wring out and that is helpful until it air dries, so you just soak it again. I’ll have to look at the name of it but it does make a difference. I also keep a wet bandana or sport towel around my neck. Don’t let anyone tell you heat doesn’t zap your energy- it can and it will if you are out too long; generally after riding for a lesson mid afternoon with a trainer who wore long sleeve starched shirts and pressed jeans (old school cowboy) I was pretty much useless for the rest of the day as far as energy goes. But I don’t do well in heat either, and I guess people are all different because my trainer loves summer and never seemed to break a sweat in those clothes, and he’s in his 80s and rides everyday(except Sundays😊) just be smart like everyone is saying with plenty of water, sunscreen, and snacks for energy. I do think it helps immensely if you’re in sport clothes that wick moisture and keep a wet towel on your neck or get a vest like I was talking about, I’ll try to see where I got it from when I go out to the barn.
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post #28 of 44 Old 04-25-2019, 12:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gottaquarter View Post
plenty of water, sunscreen, and snacks for energy.

This reminded me of something I don't think about since I have lived in the desert so long. Make sure you eat. Have a good light meal and bring snacks. I never feel hungry when it is hot but I tolerate the heat so much better if I remember to eat and don't let my blood sugar get low. I think having enough fuel allows the body to handle heat better.
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post #29 of 44 Old 04-25-2019, 06:32 PM
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I live in Australia, and actually don't mind the heat myself, but reading through all of these, I'm more than a bit surprised that very few comments have addressed the glaring fact that with all of this concern for the poor human sitting up top, surely our main worry should be how our horses are coping?!!
If it's hot enough to make me that uncomfortable, then I would consider it animal abuse to ride in that heat.

I realise that in regions that are consistently higher temps, the horses would be more acclimatised (as would their riders) and that horse and riders are often out in temperatures in excess of 40 degrees celcius, up North. However, to expect your horse to cart you around in similar temps in a climate where that is the exception rather than the rule, if it makes the rider uncomfortable, just imagine how much more uncomfortable you would feel in that heat if you were asked to trot and run around, carrying a pack with 15kg (a moderate amount in relation to many riders' body weight to horse ratio)?

Just a bit of perspective. ;)
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post #30 of 44 Old 04-25-2019, 07:36 PM
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@katatak , that sounds a bit sanctimonious to me. A lot of the people here on HF absolutely do consider their horses' comfort first, but when people are heat intolerant, they need solutions for keeping cool outdoors. The very first suggestion anyone made on this thread was to ride in the cooler parts of the day, so that was immediately covered, and addresses horse and rider. Also, suggestions were made on multiple occasions to spray down the horse, as well as yourself, with water in hot weather. This is de rigeur in horse racing and endurance riding - and in the latter, horses are eliminated from competition if they get distressed in any way.

Horses stand up to heat better than humans do. They have more inertia to environmental heat because their larger mass takes longer to heat up or cool down. They are generally acclimatised to outdoors life, and have better evaporative cooling mechanisms than humans do. Their heads aren't encased in helmets or other heat-retaining devices (and the head is a chief region of heat loss in humans). The main reason humans lost their body hair is because they needed more effective evaporative cooling when pursuing prey across the plains of Africa way back. And now, we're covering ourselves up in clothes! So yes, people do need tips for cooling down, and this doesn't make them de facto animal abusers.

I'm a hiker and mountain climber too, and actually have far less trouble with heat when not on a horse. My head isn't covered when hiking, and I get plenty of evaporative cooling from having my limbs in the breeze, and sweating effectively due to the strenuous exercise. So, I have a fair bit of experience hiking with a backpack - and exercising horses safely, without distressing them.
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Last edited by SueC; 04-25-2019 at 07:55 PM.
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