Why is it that some horse shows seem to fall on the hottest days of the summer? Keeping both yourself and your horse cool in the summer heat can be a challenge, but we’ve got some tips to help you cool off.

Park Strategically

Try to get to the show grounds early so that you are able to select where you park. Look for areas that are shaded by trees or buildings. Try to park where the shade will be present for much of the day. Later on you will be grateful that you thought ahead.

Avoid Reflective Trailers

If your trailer ends up in direct sunlight, avoid standing your horse near it. Reflective trailers are like ovens, and the sunlight that is cast off of them will only make both you and your horse hotter. Instead, opt to hold your horse in a shaded area.

Dismount Between Classes

If you find that you have a decent amount of time to wait between classes, dismount your horse and loosen his girth. Doing so will help to conserve his energy, and his muscles will not have to support your added weight, keeping him cooler. If you have a long wait, then unsaddle him and let him cool off before you have to mount up again.

Offer Water Regularly

Be sure to offer your horse clean water regularly throughout the day. If your horse is a picky drinker, then bring water from your barn, but remove it from your truck or trailer as soon as you arrive at the grounds. Store it in a shady area so that it doesn’t heat up too much. Keeping your horse hydrated is important, so make frequent water breaks a priority.

Keep Your Helmet Cool

When selecting your show helmet, opt for one with vents, if possible. You might also want to consider a cooling liner for your helmet for extra comfort while in the ring.

Drink Plenty of Water

While keeping your horse hydrated, stop to take a water break yourself. Pack plenty of cold water in the morning and have a friend bring it ringside so that you can take a sip between classes. To help your water stay cool all day, fill a water bottle with water halfway, then freeze it the night before. Add cool water to it in the morning; the ice will gradually melt throughout the day.

If you or your horse experience signs of heat stress or fatigue on hot show days, take a break and give yourself plenty of time to recover. We hope that these tips help you to stay cool and collected both in and outside of the show ring.

Image Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Show_jumping

Original Source: http://blog.classic-equine.com/2014/06/keeping-cool-at-horse-shows/

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