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View Full Version : When is it too Hot?



bornfreenowexpensive
Jun. 25, 2010, 10:05 PM
OK....I know we all make individual decisions...let me hear yours.

I don't really mind the heat...rather have it hot than cold. This weekend is supposed to be umm warm. My horse doesn't really need the competition and I'm considering scratching. It will not set him back in his training at all. Just trying to get a sense for whether I'm being a wuss for scratching:D

Weather forcast is for the high 90s and humid. Ground is hard and my times are smack in the middle of the day. It will take me over 3 hours each way to get there as well.

eponacowgirl
Jun. 25, 2010, 10:12 PM
Heat indexes here have been over 100 for the last 2, maybe 3 weeks? Even at 5am its 75 and feels like 90. We just hacked out the first few days so everyone could acclimate, now I do shorter rides with lots of walk breaks.

If I don't ride, I don't eat, so its not an option for me to skip.

I spread everything out and drinks TONS of water, hose off my head. Am very careful with the draft cross and the heavy paint mare, but everyone else seems to do just fine.

Anyway, as far as showing goes, I probably would be hard pressed to scratch my TB for heat, but I would be pretty cautious with the draftie mare. At the very least, I'd want ice buckets waiting for us after all 3 phases. :)

KateWooten
Jun. 25, 2010, 10:15 PM
Now. Is the short answer to that.

Yesterday and today I rode two horses after 9pm. And no, I do not have lights.

It's too hot.

Fortunately I didn't enter anything after May because I'm from a cold and drizzly country so even a normal summer here is Too Hot for me. But this is Too Freaking Hot for anyone. My day is 6-10am and 7-10.30. Actually, even MayDaze was too freaking hot for me, I noticed I didn't even ride the XC at all, I was just a passenger. Not good enough I'm afraid.

eventer_mi
Jun. 25, 2010, 10:21 PM
A lot depends on whether your horse is acclimated to the heat. It's been around 100 degrees here in So. Pines, NC, and I've been riding just about every day. I ride about 5pm, when the humidity is down and the wind starts to pick up. It was about 95 today when I rode at 3 pm, but there was a good breeze which helped. Still, my horse and I are used to the heat, so we fared well. It sounds like your horse isn't used to it and might struggle with the added heat and humidity for this weekend.

Just for comparison, it would get in the mid 90s with high humidity in Michigan, where I'm from, and we'd be hosing horses off and they'd be dropping with colic like flies. That's because most of the time, the weahter hovered in the low 80s. The temp spike caused havoc with the ponies. Here, it's steady stinkin' hot from April until about November, so the ponies are used to it.

asterix
Jun. 25, 2010, 10:22 PM
I once ran Fair Hill in Aug on a day like this weekend is supposed to be. I needed one more qualifier for the T3D. I just took my leg off btw fences and let him coast as time didn't matter, just jump pens.
He was very fit for the level, recovered well, and did not seem stressed on the ride home. Ground was hard as concrete and I was wiped out by the drive home, complete with being stuck in traffic in the harbor tunnel. He suffered no ill effects but I swore I'd never do it again.

Petstorejunkie
Jun. 25, 2010, 10:24 PM
Above 90* with a humidity above 50% is where I draw the line.
I've been having to wake up at the crack of dawn just to ride in temperatures below this index lately. COME ON FALL!!!!!

Clear Blue
Jun. 25, 2010, 10:26 PM
I am very glad my kids are home on their break right now - and not going this weekend!

Bring lots of ice, fluids, electrolytes etc. if you do decide to go.

bornfreenowexpensive
Jun. 25, 2010, 10:38 PM
I once ran Fair Hill in Aug on a day like this weekend is supposed to be. I needed one more qualifier for the T3D. I just took my leg off btw fences and let him coast as time didn't matter, just jump pens.
He was very fit for the level, recovered well, and did not seem stressed on the ride home. Ground was hard as concrete and I was wiped out by the drive home, complete with being stuck in traffic in the harbor tunnel. He suffered no ill effects but I swore I'd never do it again.


That's kind of my thought...I really don't think it would be fun. I'm actually most concerned about having him cooking in the trailer on the drive home. I do ride in this heat....but just not seeing the need to stress him in a competition.

Lori T
Jun. 25, 2010, 10:41 PM
It has been in the 90's every day since mid May with high humidity. If I don't ride before 8am or after 7pm, I don't. It just isn't enjoyable. I don't show at all in the summer. We will go xc schooling, but only if we arrive early! Luckily, Rocking Horse and Longwood have great shade trees!

retreadeventer
Jun. 25, 2010, 11:21 PM
Gosh, I don't know, BFNE.
Last year I was the last trailer out of the parking field - seriously - one of the last to ride of the day, and it takes me a long time to cool everything out. I had a good friend stop by and hold Rug after XC for me while I took off the skid lid and body protector, and even hydrated I nearly died! Usually I'm by myself so having someone hold him was really great because I was just wiped out. It was a great event, and they were wonderful there but certainly heat is tough on me personally.
I swore that was IT for the summer, no more summer horse trials. This year I am so behind due to a couple of things that I was crazy enough to actually look at the omnibus and see what was available! WHAT? Have you lost your marbles? Do you not remember how miserable it is? (Hits self on forehead.)

Just XC schooling for an hour was hot enough last week, I kept thinking, if this were a horse trial I'd have five more hours of this ... no thanks....
Fair Hill is different because it's so close and the horses are not in the trailer a really long time, I can manage to survive Fair Hill.

EiRide
Jun. 26, 2010, 12:11 AM
For my Cleveland Bay cross, unless she is very fit, hot and humid means she will be blowing *really* hard. She does sweat well, but she is 'huffy' when not very very fit. She does not tolerate heat terribly well. I would take it one phase at a time with her on a weekend like this, and pull up if she felt at all like she were fading XC.

My Appendix QH mare could care less. I could probably event her in deepest Africa without her flicking an ear at the heat.

My IDSH is in the middle.

asterix
Jun. 26, 2010, 06:40 AM
Yeah, bfne, that's it. My guy seemed fine but of course it was hard on him. It was ridiculously hard on me. For a qualifying run or an important check before moving up? Maybe. Just because I signed up? I'd like to think I'd bail.
After that I have really kept summer events to a minimum...

Good luck if you go and bring plenty of ice!

IFG
Jun. 26, 2010, 07:42 AM
A couple of years ago I went to an event with 90 + degree heat and 90 % humidity. For us up north, it was brutal. It was the event where a novice rider fell off and died. At the event, we just knew that he had fallen and been med-evaced (sp?). I never found out the cause of death, but I have always wondered if he didn't have a heart attack from the heat, and then fall off.

Real cheery I know. My horse was not having fun either that day, and it was brutal on me. Horse is now retired from competing, but I doubt I will ever show in that heat again.

CallMeGrace
Jun. 26, 2010, 08:37 AM
I have been wondering that myself! Kids at our barn just took their C3 test, and my daughter tells me they rode for 4 hours - with a heat index over 100. I was kind of appalled. I worked our barn's event the other weekend, so my husband had to be "barn Dad" for the day. You should have heard my instructions for meeting daughter and horse after XC - "show up with a bucket of water, a sponge, a bottle of water - be ready to undo all straps, bring the Instant H2O....". My daughter was rolling her eyes at me, but it frightens me!

CookiePony
Jun. 26, 2010, 09:15 AM
That's kind of my thought...I really don't think it would be fun. I'm actually most concerned about having him cooking in the trailer on the drive home. I do ride in this heat....but just not seeing the need to stress him in a competition.

I think this is your answer. If you don't need to go, and it won't be fun, I'd be inclined to scratch.

bambam
Jun. 26, 2010, 12:50 PM
It seems like it is always stinking hot the weekend of Surefire. I have competed there twice and volunteered a couple of years and it was this hot every time.
My mare seemed fine when I competed there although she did require more cool out time than normal- she was quite fit and tolerates the heat pretty well in general. Surefire usually has water tubs and ice at xc finish. With the exception of 1 horse with anhydrosis (sp?) the horses I knowthat were there seemed to tolerate it okay as long as you were careful about cooling out. I think they do some aerating to help with the hard ground but it will still be pretty hard and the course has some hills to it.
That being said, I will not compete in that kind of heat again. I do not do well in that kind of heat and humidity. I was definitely overheated and miserable. I do this for fun and it is not fun for me when it is that hot and it probably is not as fun for my horse either.
how is that for unhelpful? :D

foxhavenfarm
Jun. 26, 2010, 03:38 PM
Above 90* with a humidity above 50% is where I draw the line.


Ditto that. I don't handle the heat well anyway, asthma gets bad if I get overheated.

I also feel terrible making the horses work in the heat. If they are already sweating freely standing in the shade then they don't need to be working. Ours generally have the summer off unless there is a really cool late afternoon (like after it rains).

bornfreenowexpensive
Jun. 26, 2010, 05:36 PM
I think this is your answer. If you don't need to go, and it won't be fun, I'd be inclined to scratch.

Yeah...I scratched. Not really a big debate for me even if I'm dying to go xc. If the event was nearby....I would have gone and done dressage and seen but given that it is a hike of a drive....and I do this for fun:D...not too hard of a call. Just goes against my nature a bit and I wanted to make sure I wasn't just totally being a wuss.

Now I did torture myself with a dressage lesson this morning...and will perhaps do some more tomorrow.;)

gold2012
Jun. 26, 2010, 06:24 PM
There is actually a formula for that.......Okay, something like you add up the humidity and the temp, and when they equal 140, the horse will need help cooling down. 150 to 160 I think you need to be agressive about cooling them down, and finally, over 160 and they suggest you not ride....the numbers might be off a bit, but I am pretty sure those are close. Had a really good vet from A&M tell me this.

It's hot here too.....So dislike sweating as soon as one goes out the door. So umcomfortable.

WNT
Jun. 26, 2010, 09:13 PM
I agree that if my horse is sweating just standing around, it is too hot to anything more than go for a walk. Even if you aren't concerned as much about the heat, the ground gets so hard, I can't help but wonder how much more wear and tear it puts on feet and legs.

Toadie's mom
Jun. 26, 2010, 09:48 PM
Where I live we have to deal with this issue for more of the year than most. Heat and humidity! I work 2nd shift, so my horses get schooled during the hottest part of the day and they're more accustomed than some. I just took my new horse to his 1st event 2wks ago (and my 1st in 4 1/2 yrs.). We both did ok, since it was just beg. nov., but on Sun. we were both whipped. I would never have gone if we hadn't schooled some 100 degree days already. I didn't see anyone have a problem (event was gag thru trng), but then we're all from the same "climate".

cnvh
Jun. 26, 2010, 10:05 PM
I'm signed up for a ST tomorrow here in PA, and while I'm not looking forward to the heat, we've been (lightly) schooling all week in it, and my OTTB has been recovering pretty easily. And I'm only doing Starter, so we can trot the whole thing and practically step over all the jumps if we had to. :)

That being said, this weather is at the upper limit of my comfort zone... much hotter, or if we were doing a higher division, I'd probably rethink it.

Bobthehorse
Jun. 27, 2010, 09:42 AM
It depends a bit on what the horse and rider are used to, and how they handle the heat in general.

My old guy was pretty bad in humid weather, he wasnt an energetic horse at the best of times and had heaves, so the humidity made him pretty blah and congested. I kept him clipped all summer when I went Prelim and luckily there wasnt a super hot event. I once took him Training in 30+ degree weather (C) with a killer humidex and I wish I hadnt. He was ok but it wasnt a good day and just standing around was horribly uncomfortable. It didnt help xc ended up being an hour behind and I stood under a tree trying to keep us both alive during the wait. Some people just galloped around warmup for the extra hour jumping over and over....I couldnt believe it.

My young guy is very dark so he doesnt seem to deal well with heat when its sunny. But then he is still young and doesnt have much of a fitness background so we'll see. Last year in september there was a very hot event, I clipped him and brought ice for his wash water and took my time on xc (Novice) because I didnt want to stress him....and he was fine, but I was wrecked. I had such bad heat stroke I spent the next day throwing up.

ksbadger
Jun. 27, 2010, 10:11 PM
I can't help thinking that part of the problem is that we've lost the prime eventing month for a large part of the country (September) to the AECs. Owing to the pressure of having sufficient shows to qualify for them & the NAJYRCs, we have more & more shows only wanting to run in late June & July - a train wreck! Maybe it's time to look at scheduling any of the Championships down South at the end of the year to let more shows run in the cool, delightful Fall.

Read somewhere that the horses' median environmental temperature was 10 degrees C - they can tolerate more cold temperatures than hot.....

RSEventer
Jun. 27, 2010, 10:28 PM
I went to an event in July in Central Florida because I was just dying to try out my new horse trailer a few years back. It was an experience I lived to tell about- I got heat exhaustion, so did my horse. I did not bring a fan, did not have electrolytes, and did not have the sense to go home when I should have- bc I "had driven all that way to go to a show!" Part of heat exhaustion symptoms included making bad decisions- kind of like being drunk. I had cramps in my arms and thighs after I loaded my horse in a thunderstorm- complete with lightning strikes really close by- of course my horse was like, "You want me to get in there????" After going down the road a few miles, I called a friend in Ocala (which was close by) and said, "Hey, I am sick, and so is my horse- we are both dehydrated and I don't want to drive home three hours like this...can we come over and spend the night?" She was so wonderful- of course she said yes, had a bran mash for my horse waiting and gatorade for me. I went to her home and was treated like a queen! I learned a lot from this episode- number one- it's just another show- whatever. God looks after children and fools- I was foolish to embark on this trip in the first place.
My horse took two weeks to start sweating normally again and I will NEVER show in summer in Florida again!!!!!!