With summertime upon us, it's time to consider Horse Comfortable Temperature and when rising temperatures could make riding dangerous for you and your horse.
There are a few factors to consider when deciding whether it is too hot to ride. Rider and horse fitness are important, as is the relationship between heat, humidity, and wind and how it affects horse and rider. Type of riding activities and riding facilities are also going to play a role.
Regardless of temperature, you should always consider your own fitness as well as your horse's fitness when doing any type of riding. If you're not sure of you and your equine partner's fitness levels, it's best to consult a professional.
On her blog, eventer Holly Ratcliff shared a mathematical formula using temperature, humidity, and wind that can be used as a guideline for determining when it's too hot to ride:
Air Temperature + Relative Humidity - Wind speed = Answer
- Less than 130: All go - horses can function to cool themselves assuming adequate hydration.
- 130-170: Use caution - a horse's cooling mechanisms can only partially function as intended. Some calling management procedures will be necessary.
- 170 and above: Stop - a horse's cooling mechanisms can not and will not function adequately. All cooling procedures will be necessary to keep the horse out of serious trouble.
When riding in the heat it's important for both horse and rider to stay hydrated. Make sure you both have plenty to drink. On those hot days pay attention to how you feel, and close attention to any distress your horse may be in. Consider electrolyte replacement for both horse and rider, lighten your workout, take frequent breaks, and be sure you both cool down properly.
A shaded riding arena can lower the overall temperature and lessen the impact of riding in direct sun. Contact us to help build the arena of your dreams and keep you riding all year round.