10 Tips for Horse Riding When It’s Hot

During these hot summer months, it's easy to come up with any excuse to complain or grouch about not wanting to ride. Here in Texas it's not uncommon for summer to carry on all the way to late October. So when it's hot, and I mean really hot, it's often justified to let dust collect on your saddle due to feeling lazy or even exhausted between the heat, humidity, glaring sunlight and grumpy horses.

Have no fear though, all of this can be adjusted and alleviated by some simple steps to keep you cool, comfortable and motivated to enjoying summer rides.

First, lets start with time of day, location and clothing. For many riders, work day hours fall between 8 A.M. to 5 P.M.. This means that you’ll have to plan either early morning or late, late in the evening to accomplish your riding.

To ride safely in the evening, most likely, you’ll need to ride in an arena, but not everyone will have access to this type of facility. What arena riding offers is a place to safely contain your riding exercises, and it can be more convenient when time constraints are an issue.

Many trainers use late night hours because it is cooler on horses and riders. The main challenge to doing this is that you’ll have to adjust to new sleep patterns. Between the hours of 10 P.M. to 3 A.M. is often the optimal time for training- unless you’re in a position where this is practical, it can prove to be difficult to attempt and energy. So the early morning ride is the next choice available. You may have to still create a new sleeping schedule, but the sunrise ride to me is the best. Horses seem to be fresh and more willing at the start of the day. Whether it’s a before work tune-up ride for one or two hours or a day off pleasure ride before the temperature climbs to triple digits, you can both have fun working up an appetite for breakfast, and then you’ve got the rest of the day to recover.

If neither of these options are possible and you want to still ride your horse, a covered arena can be the next best alternative or if you must hit the trails, pick a shady tree covered path that keeps you both cool.

When riding in hotter climates, …