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Spinoff: How do you deal with the HEAT?

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  • Spinoff: How do you deal with the HEAT?

    Spin-off from the thread about the best helmet to wear in the heat....

    It seems like the temperatures are rising way too quickly this year. I live in the South, so this means a very long, hot summer is ahead. What does everyone do to try to beat the heat (besides having a well ventilated helmet)?! When it gets really hot, I will ride early in the mornings, but it still seems like I am worn out after just half an hour of flatwork. I am physically fit- I workout five days a week, but that is indoors, and the heat outside wears me down very quickly while riding.
    Thanks for any suggestions!

  • #2
    Hydrate. And when you have water coming out your ears drink some more. . I also think that the more time you can spend in the heat the better--a friend of mine actually did yoga in a sauna when preparing for Beijing. I hate summer!
    Originally posted by EquineImagined
    My subconscious is a wretched insufferable beotch.


    • #3
      Make sure you eat before you ride and stay well hydrated. If its really hot, have some kind of drink with electrolytes.


      • #4
        I feel your pain. I squeezed in a quick ride at 11ish and it was hell between the flies and the heat and it's not even April yet! I usually ride first thing in the am and luckily, we have a shedrow in the barn and good tree cover in a few of the riding paddocks!


        • #5
          I was just thinking about this as we had a three day heat wave of 80s and all of them left me with terrible migraines. Has anyone ever rode in a chill vest? Usually summer riding doesn't leave me that bad but summer horse shows do and I'm wondering if maybe something like that would help (I don't feel [as] sick from shows in the fall or winter.)

          Sorry to hijack but maybe a chill vest would help?


          • #6
            Drink SO much water. 2-3 liters per ride, easily. It helps. Also, having lots of fans around (even going outside at the corners of the ring where you can stop) helps too for a break. I feel your pain...riding in the South is not easy!


            • #7
              I tend to favor the "hose yourself when you hose the horse" method. lol I've found that soaking my hair with cold water really helps make me feel so much cooler for a longer period of time. I have a lot of hair so it hold a lot of water for awhile and it gradually drips down my neck and shoulders which feels oh so good.


              • #8
                SmartWater. Regular water (no electrolytes) doesn't help me as much as electrolyte water (and gatorade has too much sugar).

                Long sleeve blouses help too. Finding a way to get the boots off every once in a while. Wet hair...

                This coming from someone who grew up near Thermal...


                • #9
                  ride early in the morning and late in the afternoon. If you are riding when it is sunny out, ride in the shade like a covered arena. Drink lots of water like everyone said. I carry a bottle into the arena with me. Acclimate. Start getting used to the heat early on, taking lots of walk breaks until you get used to the heat and humidity.


                  • #10
                    And I forgot to add, I keep a case of water bottles in my truck at all times, so I always have water available.


                    • #11
                      I wake up at 5:30 every morning in the summer to ride before camp starts if I don't have a lesson in the evening. There's no one else around, which is a nice bonus! At horse shows, one of the moms brought these wash cloths that had some sort of cooling property in them and kept them in the cooler wet for everyone. So nice to wipe down any part of skin showing and then wrapping them around your neck. I'm sure a regular wash cloth would work too.


                      • #12
                        Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. That 2-L per day thing is recommended water replacement for someone who sits inside all day. Exercising outside in the heat, you should be closer to 4L every 8 hrs. Pre-hydrate too! Don't forget that coffee is a diuretic so if the first thing you do is have a cup of coffee, you're starting your day off in the red, water-wise. You should be going to the bathroom about every 2 hours.

                        If you feel yourself getting shaky, eat something (especially salty food), drink something, and run cold water on your pressure points (wrists, neck, somewhere else I forget). Take your helmet off whenever possible to get some of that heat to dissipate.

                        For reference, symptoms of dehydration:
                        -headache with mild nausea
                        -dark urine
                        -thirst (if you're thirsty you are ALREADY dehydrated)

                        symptoms of heat exhaustion:
                        -fatigue, possibly with dizziness
                        -increased heart rate
                        -increased respiration rate
                        -pale clammy skin
                        -nausea, may have vomiting

                        Heat exhaustion can take 6-8 HOURS to recover, so if you reach this level you may need to be done for the day. Rest, rehydrate (sugar helps kickstart your metabolism, so gatorade is actually a good choice at this point), eat something, take off excess clothing, add cool cloths to body.
                        "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

                        Phoenix Animal Rescue


                        • #13
                          At shows I soak my head and make sure my hair is good and wet. I then put my helmet on and let the water run down my neck. At home, if it is really hot, i usually just wimp out and don't ride.


                          • #14
                            I'm terrible in the heat and get overheated so easily. I second what people have said about the electrolytes, hydration, and cooling yourself off with cold water. The pre-hydration is also key for me. I've found that if I don't do that, I almost always overheat.

                            Sometimes I also pre-game with something like GU (the gummy version) or Sports Beans.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by alternate_universe View Post
                              I tend to favor the "hose yourself when you hose the horse" method. lol I've found that soaking my hair with cold water really helps make me feel so much cooler for a longer period of time. I have a lot of hair so it hold a lot of water for awhile and it gradually drips down my neck and shoulders which feels oh so good.
                              Yes, and keeping wash cloths in your cooler will help at shows. Apply to the back of the neck and the wrists frequently. It really helps.
                              I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne


                              • #16
                                I use a cooling vest and love it. They don't work very well in high humidity but if a cooling vest isn't going to keep you cool then your body's (and your horse's) natural cooling system isn't going to work either, and it's probably best to avoid strenuous activity outdoors at that point.
                                For the horse color genetics junky


                                • #17
                                  • Ride in the morning or evening hours.

                                  • Drink plenty of fluids.

                                  • Soak a bandana in water and tie it around my neck.

                                  • Wear a hat.


                                  • #18
                                    I live in South FL, and probably ride at about ten in the morning during the summer.

                                    I forego the polo in favor of a tank top.

                                    I ride the darker horses in the evening, for both of our sakes.

                                    Every walk break, get lots of water and some shade.

                                    Rip off the helmet and boots the instant I get off the horse and soak my hair when I rinse off bits, boots, neoprene girths, etc.


                                    • #19
                                      I just beg my trainer to let us play in the water complex every single day. The horse I lease thinks the point is to make the biggest possible splash, so that works out well.

                                      On the practical side... I refuse to school in cotton breeches during the summer. I have spandex ones that are about as close to running tights as I can get; they're also a size or two too big, so they don't stick to my skin as much.


                                      • #20
                                        I always found being and staying outside helped me to acclimate. It's so much worse when you go from air conditioning to outside to air conditioning to back outside. I found the more I was outside the more I got used to it.

                                        I hate being wet when it's already so hot and humid out, so I try for cool max type fabrics and things that wick. For me wet washcloths and such just made me feel gross and even sweatier.

                                        They used to have cool packs you could put in your helmet but I don't remember the name and havent seen them in a few years.