What to do with your horse when it is super hot outside
With the summer heat right around the corner, many horse owners are already starting to worry about increasing temperatures and riding time. There are several ways to determine if it is too hot to ride, but the most commonly agreed on version is a combination of humidity and temperature. By adding the temperature and the humidity together, you’d get a final number. This final number should be under 140 or it is generally considered too hot to ride.
In addition to the actual temperature itself, there are few other items to consider before choosing to ride in hot weather. The first is your horse’s fitness level. Horses that are ridden frequently and are in good shape will handle exercising in the heat much better than a horse that is ridden occasionally. If your horse has health issues they will also have a more difficult time in hot weather. Make sure to carefully consider your horse’s fitness and health prior to riding in hot weather.
Now that the temperatures have hit this level, what do you do with your horse to keep them engaged and prevent summer boredom. We want to be able to spend time with our horses and bond even if we are unable to get into the saddle. We’ve got a few great tips for ways to hang out with your horse and bond during a hot summer.
- Give them a Bath: Your horse will love the nice cool wash down! An added bonus is you get a nice cool down too. Spending extra time scrubbing manes and tails and your horse’s favorite spots.
- Go for a Walk: Take a nice walk with your horse (in the shade). Let them explore new things and graze a bit. If you can, time your walks for early in the morning or late in the evening when the sun is low. This gives you more shade and is the coolest time of day.
- Spa Day: Do an extra long grooming session with your horse. Condition and braid their manes and tails. (We suggest single braids rather than running braids for turnout.) Coat conditioner is a great tool to use to make your horse’s coat shiny.
- Practice Trailer Loading: park your horse trailer in the shade or in a covered arena and practice loading and unloading your horse. This is a great opportunity to teach self-loading if your horse does not already know how.
- Trick Training: Many horses love to learn new tricks and get the treats that come along with trick training. Start with some simple tricks to let your horse get used to the new concept. You may be surprised how quickly they pick them up!
- Ground work: Brush up on your ground work. Practice hind and fore-leg yields and backing up until your horse is very responsive. You can also add in some natural horsemanship methods of flexion on the ground.
- Try Clicker Training: If you never had the time to try clicker training, but always wanted to, the summer heat is a perfect time to try it out. Clicker training doesn’t require a lot of big movements so you and your horse will stay cooler.