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View Full Version : Crosspost from Horse Care Forum - How HOT is too HOT??



sar2008
May. 26, 2010, 11:55 AM
.....to ride??

A few friends (fellow trainers) and I were talking this past weekend at a show and got into this discussion. I know for a fact that temperature and humidity affect the way a horse eliminates heat during exercise. When the relative humidity exceeds 75 percent, the effectiveness of cooling by sweating is greatly decreased.

I was just shocked to hear they work them regardless of how hot and humid it was (IE, when the temperature plus humidity is greater than 180) and would even still show in such extreme conditions

Opinions please? Hopefully I am not the only one willing to scratch (or seriously advise against clients showing) during such crazy bouts of heat and humidity.

Aerial
May. 26, 2010, 03:52 PM
I've showed in 90 degree+ weather with terrible humidity but we stand in the shade until time to go in the ring, offer water and untack and rinse horse thoroughly between each class. I think the horses stayed cooler than we did :lol:

nlk
May. 26, 2010, 04:08 PM
We usually cancel classes when the heat index is above 90. However at shows it's different. Yes it's hot, but my horses aren't out there nearly as long as a 1 hour lesson. Nor are they working the whole time as they do in a lesson. I try to post either at the end of a division or the beginning. at the beginning they can go back, rest, hose legs and even un-tack if there are enough entries. If you post near the end you do your 2-3 jump rounds, flat and then head right back to the barn.

So I would be willing to push it a little farther. HOWEVER it's MORE important to watch your riders and horses then to simply go by the weather channel

hntrjmprpro45
May. 26, 2010, 08:10 PM
For me it completely depends on the horse/rider combination and how fit they are. I would have no problem competing in 95+ degree weather with a fit horse (who was used to the temps). Now, I have some riders who could not/should not compete in anything hotter than 90- they get tired/weak and start to ride poorly because of the heat. Same with the horses- some of my young horses who are not in shape would wither in the heat (and probably have some nasty things to say about it!). Where I am from if the actual temperature is above 100 then shows get cancelled (and lessons of course occur at the wee hours of the morning when it is still 80).

equidae
May. 27, 2010, 08:56 AM
If we canceled lessons shows and plain old hacking out when the heat index was higher than 90- we'd never ride here in the summer! You actually cope. It takes about to weeks, both riders and horses are sluggish in the beginning, but- you really do adapt. I does suck though- the sun midday around here is BRUTAL.

caradino
May. 27, 2010, 12:41 PM
i agree with equidae, if you give yourself and your horse time to acclimate to the heat/humidity, you can still work and show in some pretty icky conditions.

the only issue i've ever had with riding in the heat was with a trainer i worked for briefly. she would habitually ride one horse with anhydrosis in humid, over-100* temps. not cool. :no:

sansibar
May. 27, 2010, 01:04 PM
Up here in Ontario, yesterday I rode for 30 minutes in 32+ Celsius (about 90 Fahrenheit I think?) and I came so close to passing out, I started to black out and made it into the barn just in time before I fully passed out. I was drinking the whole time I was riding, so it was weird. I hope it cools off for the show this weekend!

The owner of the horses son was telling me that for dirt biking they have a cooling vest? I may look into that for just schooling.

flyracing
May. 27, 2010, 01:12 PM
If there are no health conditions affected by heat for horse and rider then they will aclimate to the hotter temps. We do stop riding at about 104, but I've shown in hotter. I would never take an unfit horse who comes from a cooler climate and show them in high heat and humity, that would be unfair and probably cruel. When I was an eventing working student in Texas one summer, the working students would have lessons after all of the client horses were worked. This meant our lessons were between 2-4 in the afternoon everyday. For the first two weeks my horse and I were allowed to work for only 30 minutes because of how sluggish my horse was (coming from a northern climate where hot was 85, he was in for a shock). After that first two weeks he and I were fine and we worked just as hard as we did when it was cooler out. At the end of the summer my horse was awarded best conditioned at our 3-day event in Virginia where they were under a heat advisory. So yes, you have to take special care such as hosing off for 20mins after riding and feeding plenty of electrolytes, but it can be done safely.

By some of your standards, people in parts of the country are already having too hot of temps to ride. Should they just put their horses in an air conditioned barn until October and try to forget they are there?;)

Arizona DQ
May. 27, 2010, 01:16 PM
The owner of the horses son was telling me that for dirt biking they have a cooling vest? I may look into that for just schooling.

Check out the Cool Medics vests. I live in mine in the summer! They come in all shapes and sizes. I made the mistake of buying a "knock off" from ebay a couple of years ago and it was Horrible :(!!! Go with Cool Medics and if they do not have what you want on their website, call them. They will work with you!!

Word of warning - they get VERY heavy once you have them soaked and ready to wear, do not be put off by that, once you have the vest on, you will not notice!!! :cool:

sptraining
May. 27, 2010, 08:32 PM
Depends on the horse and rider and what they can handle.

Grew up in Palm Springs and got used to hosing the horses off several times a day. I would even hose them off before I rode them and by the time they were tacked up, they were dry. I nearly passed out numerous times from the heat and not drinking enough water. We wouldn't ride past 10am or so and would resume work around 6 or 7pm until 10pm. None of the horses seemed to be too worse for the wear. You get used to it I suppose...

twobays
May. 27, 2010, 08:37 PM
It really depends. It hit 95 here today after just a few weeks of consistent 70 degree weather here, so we didn't do much because the horses just aren't used to it.

Generally I just go by feel. It isn't too hard to tell when a horse is dragging and uncomfortable because of the heat.

pooh
May. 27, 2010, 08:41 PM
I agree where I go by how it feels. In the middle of the summer a 90 degree day is not that bad - but when the temps have been 15-20 degree lower then jump up with humidity - I limit the ride time or give them a day off. I will admit though I've become an "old fart" and when the temperatures go up -- I generally do less -- but then again I show for the fun of it.

ctab
May. 27, 2010, 08:53 PM
But I was wondering if anyone else had hoof problems from hosing?
My TB's feet are always a problem in the summer. Winter here in LI, NY they are fine and I don't really do anything to them besides pick them out daily.
Summer comes and they start to crack at the nail holes and at the flares. There is no difference in T/O diet, farrier schedule, riding time (indoor) etc. Just the weather and the fact that I have to hose/ sponge him off in the hot weather. I am religious about putting Pine Tar on before hosing to let the water bead off the hooves as much as possible, as per farrier recommendations. I don't bathe with soap. I don't usually have to hose him for long, just until his breathing settles some if he is really panting, then we will walk cool.
If the day is borderline, I won't even hose, just put him in a shaded paddock to roll and cool off on his own.

make x it x so
May. 27, 2010, 11:49 PM
But I was wondering if anyone else had hoof problems from hosing?
My TB's feet are always a problem in the summer. Winter here in LI, NY they are fine and I don't really do anything to them besides pick them out daily.
Summer comes and they start to crack at the nail holes and at the flares. There is no difference in T/O diet, farrier schedule, riding time (indoor) etc. Just the weather and the fact that I have to hose/ sponge him off in the hot weather. I am religious about putting Pine Tar on before hosing to let the water bead off the hooves as much as possible, as per farrier recommendations. I don't bathe with soap. I don't usually have to hose him for long, just until his breathing settles some if he is really panting, then we will walk cool.
If the day is borderline, I won't even hose, just put him in a shaded paddock to roll and cool off on his own.

Do the flies bother your horse? I know my TB is very sensitive to bugs, and has much worse feet in the summer because he's usually stomping at flies (in addition to the extra bathing). A pair of fly wraps definitely helped, although he still needs shoes more often in the summer.



ETA:
In response to the rest of the post, I tend to judge it by how I feel, and not any set number. Yesterday, it was much hotter than it had been recently (and HUMID! it sucks living on an island sometimes...), so I moved my lesson to the evening when it was cooling off a little. My horse sweated like there was no tomorrow, but at no point in my ride did he feel like he was really uncomfortable, so I had a full (1/2 hour) lesson and just made sure to hose him off really well afterward. When I rode him today, he seemed no worse for the wear.