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heat help for the rider...

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  • heat help for the rider...

    As the days get hotter, I'm finding that I have less tolerance for the heat than ever before. I've had heat stroke in the past (from my running cross country days) and I know that affects the body's internal temperature regulation and you are more susceptible to the heat. 2 lessons in a row I've come close to heat exhaustion without realizing that I was overheating.

    I ride my own horses in the morning to avoid the heat, however, when I take lessons - they are normally around 4:30pm - about the hottest part of the day. I do wear a helmet - which is not helping the overheating...however, I'm a helmet every ride type of girl so I need to find a way to beat the heat with my helmet.

    I drink a LOT before my lessons and I have resorted to stopping and drinking during my lessons as well - but it interrupts the flow if I have to do that too much.

    Have any of you tried any of the CoolMedics products or does anyone have advice on how to beat the heat when you HAVE to ride in the heat of the day?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    I had heat stroke as a teen, so am aware how that can affect you. As an adult I got close to overheating too much once, and the horse I was on stopped and refused to move because something felt "off" in how I was riding.


    You should make sure your instructor knows your problems, and ask for help remembering to drink each time you take a stretchy break for the horse or are getting explanations of something. An instructor obviously wants his/her students to stay healthy and on the horse's back, so I'm sure when you ask for help you can get it. We have cooling neck wraps for sale everywhere around here, especially in hiking/camping type stores. This blog gives an example of how you could make your own if you're more talented than I am. They work wonderfully, and I highly recommend them if needed!

    Cool Medics has a neck cooler which looks like it would work well. If your helmet isn't ventilated, you would do yourself a favor to get one which is. I use one of the ugly plastic Tipperary helmets with the bike helmet look. I wet my hair before putting the helmet on (it's dry here, so my hair dries quickly even if I'm sweating, too!), and get some cooling from that.

    Good luck, and good job being proactive about taking care of yourself!
    Originally posted by Silverbridge
    If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

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    • #3
      Last year both me and my horse had trouble with the heat. For me, I found wetting my hair really helped. I hose down the horse's belly before getting on and my head before putting on my helmet. It gives a whole new meaning to hat head, but it's better than passing out.

      Comment


      • #4
        Also get some electrolytes for you too, not just your horse.

        Comment


        • #5
          Frozen veggie in the bra are an excellent and cheap way to beat the heat. Depending on your humidity and just how hot it's gonna get that works for There is a thread on how to beat the heat around here somewhere.
          Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
          Originally Posted by alicen:
          What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by netg View Post
            I had heat stroke as a teen, so am aware how that can affect you. As an adult I got close to overheating too much once, and the horse I was on stopped and refused to move because something felt "off" in how I was riding.


            You should make sure your instructor knows your problems, and ask for help remembering to drink each time you take a stretchy break for the horse or are getting explanations of something. An instructor obviously wants his/her students to stay healthy and on the horse's back, so I'm sure when you ask for help you can get it.

            Thanks for the suggestions all - I'll search for any previous threads on beating the heat too.

            My instructor knows that I'm having issues with the heat and actually reminds me to drink or brings my water out to me. I hate feeling like I'm interrupting the flow of the lesson.

            The horses know too - they stop when they feel me getting weak.

            I've started drinking gatorade instead of water - hoping that helps - my helmet is ventilated, but not as well as some. I'll look at some options there.

            Comment


            • #7
              I have issues with the heat as well.
              I'm in TX.

              when it comes down to it....I just can't ride at 4:30PM. it's not safe.

              I ride in the AM or after dark under the lights.

              I had to buy one of those stupid looking vented cheapo helmets in WHITE.
              stupid helmet:
              http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p...boom/abby2.jpg
              I also put a bandana on my head to soak up sweat otherwise I sweat so much it burns my eyes.

              I make sure the hose is out BEFORE I get on and when I hop off I start hosing myself and the horse (still tacked) right away. I strip down to my sports bra, roll my breaches up and put on flip flops. Taking my paddock boots and socks off is a HUGE heat release for me.

              After the first hose I strip the saddle and throw it somewhere quickly...usually my bench which is close to the barn. And do the 2nd hosing with bridle still on.
              Then I strip the bridle and continue.
              http://kaboomeventing.com/
              http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
              Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Reddfox View Post
                I hate feeling like I'm interrupting the flow of the lesson.
                You're not. The lesson is for YOU. Do what YOU NEED TO DO. Period. You're instructor wants you to enjoy riding. If you get heatstroke, you will NOT be having fun. If she's stopping you herself, that should tell you she's not bothered. And...I'm sure you're not the only person she teaches who has to take a break, whether it's for the heat or because their legs get tired.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have a cool medics vest and the helmet cooler--the vest is heavy but works well, even in the humidity here. The helmet liner works well, too.
                  From now on, ponyfixer, i'll include foot note references.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rodawn
                    I was talking to some endurance riders a year ago. They use these special vests that you soak in a tub of water and then wear. It keeps the vests amazingly cool and it keeps them cool. One of the gals said she will wrap the vest around her horse's neck to help the horse cool down quickly too and it works to bring the horse's pulse down, something that is really important during an endurance race.

                    I put one on. The temperature that day was 35 degrees Celsius (high 90s in Fahrenheit) and it was so cool it was almost a shock putting it on. In fact, I even got a little cold because I wasn't moving.

                    I cannot, for the life of me, remember what those vests were called. Maybe you could google it.
                    If it is THAT effective I would almost be scared to use it.

                    Rider can go go go like it's 65 degrees and meanwhile it's still 105 with the heat index for the horse.
                    The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                    Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                    Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                    The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

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                    • #11
                      I don't have a hard time in the heat myself, but I've got many friends who LOVE the Coolmedics line and I've heard great things about them. Plus, when coats are waived, you can wear one of their vests in black and look spiffy and stay cool

                      Also, one thing to stay away from:
                      Kerrits also makes these arm cooler things that they sent me to try... Hated 'em. The only cooling sensation I got was from the "heat chills" I get when I'm overheating, lol.
                      Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.

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                      • #12
                        Whew. 4:30 p.m. is tough. I just rescheduled my 2 p.m. lessons to 10 a.m. because of the heat in N. Fla. I've already almost had a falling out this year (heat+antibiotics), so I've been experimenting with different things.

                        -- I drink water on my way to the lesson. Then gulp a little Gatorade while tacking up/grooming. Take a bottle of water with me out to the ring that my instructor gives to me during breaks. Then as soon as I get my horse in the crossties, I'll then down about 1/2 a (medium) bottle of Gatorade and continue to drink water until I'm back home. Even when it's 90-95 outside with high humidity, that seems to do the trick for me.

                        -- A cooler helmet. Good god, I've got to get one myself, but my head stays way too hot during lessons and I can tell as soon as I take mine off, my entire body feels relieved.

                        -- Tech fabrics. I picked up a Nike Coolmax(?) t-shirt from Ross for about $10. I also picked up some Nike compression shorts to use under my breeches that helps with sweating and circulates air very well. Oh, and switching to tights instead of breeches might be a good idea. At the moment, I'm trying to eliminate cotton entirely from my lesson clothing.

                        -- Wear a bandana around your wrist. When it starts to warm up, douse it with water and tie it around your neck. Hell, take off your helmet for a second and pour some water over your head. (Or you could buy one of those fancy cooling things. )

                        Good luck. I'm not sure where you're from, but it feels like it's going to be a doozy of a summer down here.
                        The dude abides ...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by xQHDQ View Post
                          You're not. The lesson is for YOU. Do what YOU NEED TO DO. Period. You're instructor wants you to enjoy riding. If you get heatstroke, you will NOT be having fun. If she's stopping you herself, that should tell you she's not bothered. And...I'm sure you're not the only person she teaches who has to take a break, whether it's for the heat or because their legs get tired.
                          This plus Opus1's post.

                          I used to live in Houston and I'd have died if I didn't have gatorade or a gatoraide/water mix on the rail for water breaks. Some gals kept theirs on the rail in an ice cooler. Electrolytes, electrolytes, electrolytes!

                          Your horse gets many breaks in hot weather, no? Why aren't these your breaks as well? Drinking fluids is not breaking the flow of the lesson!!! Falling off from heat stroke is!!!
                          Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I just tried my new-to-me white coolmedics vest today. However it's for showing and I didn't have a sparkling clean container to dunk it in and stay white. So I tried quickly hosing it down - didn't work so well as it seemed to repel the water! Anyways, I rode in it half-way wet and it still worked pretty well!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Heat Exhaustion is nothing to fool around with...

                              Been there, done that and have learned the hard, hard, hard way that rescheduling the lesson to another part of the day is definitely the best thing.

                              Having said that: If I do need to ride in the heat I do use a Cool Medics vest...I keep mine soaked in cold water and in the cooler until I need to put it on and will often use the necktie as well. I have a white vented helmet, wear moisture wicking breeches and shirts and take frequent breaks. Moisture wicking golf shirts are available at Wal-mart for under $15. Definitely worth the money.

                              When you take a break, if at all possible, get in the shade out of direct sun. Believe me, even a couple of minutes can make a big difference.

                              Just another hint...blood gets O2 in the lungs...I find that keeping a towel in ice/ice water and when I take a break, wiping my face and putting the towel up to my face so that I breath the hot air thru the cold towel (obviously not a thick towel...I use like a thin, kitchen towel) helps me a lot! It really helps me and I just seem to think better. As soon as I finish riding, I'm hosing myself down at the same time I do my horse. I then immediately dry off and change into something cool, like shorts etc.

                              I used one of the Cool Medics in a helmet for quite awhile, but the new one I got plumped up too big and my helmet doesn't fit with it, so I just douse my head in water instead.

                              As for drinking a lot of fluids before riding, remember that dehydration usually starts long before that...you may actually be headed in that direction a day or two before and the heat and exertions of the lesson drive you over the limit. Start drinking more fluids the day before or more.

                              I feel for you. I've had heat exhaustion several times and each succesive one gets worse. The last time put me in the hospital and left me sick and with muscle cramps for days.

                              Good luck. I hope the suggestions help you.
                              A poorly fitted saddle hampers both horse and rider.
                              https://www.facebook.com/Talley-Ho-Saddle-Services

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                                If it is THAT effective I would almost be scared to use it.

                                Rider can go go go like it's 65 degrees and meanwhile it's still 105 with the heat index for the horse.
                                actually yes I have found that to be the case

                                I have an cool medics vest I bought second hand off ebay last year. Though mine will dampen my clothes, and it makes me look like a crossing guard, it does work very well.

                                So well in fact, the few times last year I used it I had to continually remind myself throughout the day to not grab my horse and go ride/drive him. I went through my day merrily be-bopping around in my own little comfortable temperature bubble while the rest of the world around me suffered.

                                Especially now that my horse is retired from riding to driving, I could easily push my horse on a day that is way too hot for him while I'm sitting comfortably.
                                Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Not to hijack but due to great praise for the vests here, maybe youll be getting one so....

                                  The Coolmedics site says NOT to soak them for longer then 10 seconds! or you risk damaging the fibers. Yet it sounds like lots of people let them soak for hours. Anyone ruin theirs??

                                  Also, I'm not above walking around shows with ice packs under my arms and when really hot, hiding in the trailer with them down my pants too! Cold on major arteries= cooler blood= cooler person!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Don't know how well it would work for riding but I know there are ladies at the renaissance faires who use "bodice chillers". Basically a metal cigar tube filled with ice chips that go between "the girls". Would probably work just as well inside a sports bra.

                                    Just a thought, I've never tried it.
                                    The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
                                    Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Many good suggestions here! It's definitely time to get up early to ride.

                                      I am a huge fan of Gatorade G2 (the reduced calorie one) and sometimes mix in a little bit of electrolyte powder. The quart bottle goes to the arena with me and whenever I feel the slightest bit "off" I go take a swig or three. In really hot weather I'll drink a whole quart before I ever get on, and go through 2 bottles after that. They also make a powder to mix into water in a bottle, but for some reason the premixed stuff just seems to work better. (My horse likes it, too

                                      I am becoming more and more a believer in tech fabrics, especially for shirts. I wear Equissentials lightweight summer "Grip Bums" tights and though they are cotton/Lycra, and black, they are light enough that I don't get too heated from them.

                                      I also wear the Tipperary 8500 helmet, which is well-ventilated, and crochet-back gloves... and here's the odd thing, thin wool sock liners under whatever socks I am wearing. That *should* make my feet hot, but doesn't for some reason.
                                      You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                                      1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

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                                      • #20
                                        Probably the sock liners soak up your sweat, keeping your feet dry.
                                        The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
                                        Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.

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