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5 Hacks to Keep Cool During Summer Riding

5 Hacks to Keep Cool During Summer Riding

When the summer heat starts to impact your riding routine, it’s disappointing. It can even negatively impact your training progression with your horse. This summer, don't fall behind; try these tips to stay cool and stay involved with your horses! 

Plan your Ride Time 

Early mornings are always the coolest time to ride. Morning rides are ideal because it’s the coolest time of day, and your horse has also had all night to recuperate from the heat. Try a nighttime ride if waking up super early does not work for your schedule. Night rides won't be as cool as early morning rides, but they are much cooler than mid-day or early evening.

Lighting

If you are going to do early morning or night rides, you might need to install outdoor lighting to get the most out of your riding time. Lighting is crucial for safety if you wake up and get started in the dark or finish your ride after dusk. 

You can install large outdoor lights above your riding area. Solar lights are an excellent way to light an area without power. Allow your horse to adjust to training and riding under these lights. If your horse has never been exposed to lights like this, it may take a few weeks to be comfortable. 

Pick the Right Attire

Proper summer riding attire will look slightly different depending on where you live and your summer temperatures. Ideally, you need moisture-wicking clothing with UV protection. Some fabrics contain cooling technology that reduces your skin's surface temperature by wicking away moisture and drying your skin. Our favorite is the Kerrits Cool Temp Polo! In addition to cool technology, you want to protect your skin from damaging sun rays. If your shirt doesn’t offer UV protection, use sunscreen.

Head Gear

In addition to wearing cooling clothing, reach for a well-ventilated helmet to allow airflow to your scalp. Keep your head covered with a mesh baseball cap or hat when you aren't riding. Keeping the sun from direct contact with your head will help keep your body temperature lower. 

Post Ride

After you make it to the end of your summer ride, make sure you and your horse get adequate fluids. Staying properly hydrated for people is easy enough, but sometimes we forget. Carrying a double-insulated water bottle with you on your ride and around the barn can serve as a good reminder to hydrate.

Encourage your horse to drink by providing cool, clean water. When a horse is very hot, they will often need to cool down before drinking. Spraying them off with cool (not ice cold) water can help reduce their body temperature.

Remember, there are many fun activities to do with your horse other than ride. If it is too hot, try a long grooming session or a bit of groundwork instead. Whether you are training in a ring, an arena, or out on the trail, stay hydrated, stay safe, and remember to have fun! 

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