Staying Cool In Summer
We all love the heat, right? The week I am writing this blog I’m pretty sure the temperature hasn’t dropped below 28 degrees! While it is great for us when we want nothing more than to lounge about and top up our tans (or in my case – get more freckles), our horses might not appreciate the sun as much. I’ve been doing a bit of research (and pinterest-ing) to find out the best solutions for our horses and ourselves as riders during the heat!
First things first – rider wear! Nothing is worse than sweating it out in heavy jods while trying to school in the blazing sun, tried it, hated it! My best tips for rider wear in summer are:
- Riding tights – Light weight, breathable, flexible. What more do you need? My current favourites are my Tottie Honour breeches, they are so brilliant and really help to keep me cool when I’m riding while still looking super stylish!
- Light weight tees – I can’t recommend the Tottie Wycombe polo enough, I’ve nearly been wearing mine every day when I’m up with Benny or at work! It’s soft, light fabric really helps to wick away moisture and I find the cut so flattering.
- Tank tops – I know many of us still find t-shirts too warm when riding but of course Tottie have the perfect solution – the Victoria vest top! Not only has it a mesh panel at the back to keep you cool but the slightly looser fit allows for a very breathable top when riding. I can’t help but love the “Cantering is my cardio” slogan as well!
Next up – your noble steed! Poor Benny is not used to the English weather, back home in Ireland our summer lasts all of a day before chucking down with rain again! He must think he’s in a foreign country now! Keeping him cool and happy has been a big task of mine, so here are my top tips:
- Horsey ice lollies – Freezing your horse’s favourite snacks such as apples, bananas, pears and carrots in an ice cream tub sized container of water with a touch of dilute orange juice makes the perfect ice lolly for the stable or field!
- Baths, baths, baths – Even if you’re not riding, your horse is likely still making an ejit of himself in the field and running up a sweat. A nice cool bath (even without soap) will help him cool down and might even get you cooler too, if your horse is like Ben and loves to splash!
- Ice boots/packs – A recent “hack” I came across is wine bottle ice packs. A local supermarket began selling ice packs that wrap around wine bottles and attach with Velcro however many from the horsey community grabbed them up and are using them as makeshift ice boots! A brilliant idea if you’ve been schooling hard and are worried about your horse’s tendons overheating from the strain of work. If you’re lucky enough to have Ice Vibe or similar boots I highly recommend using them post exercise.
Another idea for both horse and rider is hacking. It is a fantastic way to keep up your horse’s fitness, Benny and I tend to go on one hour to and hour and a half long hacks where we mainly travel in trot and canter. Using trees as shade and being able to amble along if you get too warm are so much better than constantly running around an arena, who knows, you may even find a small body of water to have a splash in!
I hope you enjoyed this month’s blog and I look forward to you reading my next one!