Heat Threshold

How hot is too hot to ride?

sunhat

never too hot to graze, though

Horses have a higher natural body temperature than humans. Horses have hair. Horses heat up faster while exercising than humans do. So if you’re hot, your horse is definitely hot. So when do you decide it’s too hot for pony time in the saddle?

grazeHow much does the humidity factor in? I am so glad I don’t live in the Houston part of Texas.

My solution to riding on hot days is to ride early or ride late. For a few years when I had an anhidrotic horse, the solution was ride at midnight. I didn’t bother riding yesterday, but Tuesday I got on at 7:30pm and this evening I’m thinking I might not get on until 7:45 or 8pm. When it’s 100 degrees F at 6pm there’s just no way. That’s dangerous, in my mind, for me and my horse, to try to ride in that kind of heat.

 

26 thoughts on “Heat Threshold

  1. I know I already told you this but I seriously love that hat! The heat has been brutal up here this week too. Tucker’s energy is just zapped, even waiting until the evening when it’s cooler.

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  2. Love that hat! And I’ll only ride when it’s 80’s or around that. Once it hits 90+ here it’s typically so humid everyone is miserable. If my horse is sweating a ton, I won’t ride. No sense in making them go through torture and making them work in such awful heat! I definitely wouldn’t want to!

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  3. We still rode yesterday despite the killer humidity, but like Lauren said, we took lots of walk breaks. I left the ring regularly to do a couple walk laps so Beastly could catch her breathe and take a break. That being said, there have been days where I showed up and all I did was give the pony a nice cool bath to alleviate some of the heat stress.

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  4. I’ve been riding around 6:30-7 and even my “Gonna Die In the Heat” horse has been ok. Granted, I also don’t ride for very long, just long enough to get something accomplished. He’s going to have to show in the heat sometimes so I want him to be at least a little reasonably acclimated.

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  5. I am a wimp about heat (and humidity) so if I step outside and feel suffocated, there is no riding. When I worked as a barn manager for a summer camp, we always said if the heat + humidity percentage was above 100, the kids couldn’t ride. That worked well in MN but probably not in the south.

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  6. eh my mare is from the desert and doesn’t particularly care about heat, or even humidity for that matter. but when it’s stupid hot out i try to be strategic with our energy. it’s either easy trail riding (like last night!), or very purposeful schooling with me on my best behavior to avoid any unnecessary challenges

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  7. I live 30ish miles north of Houston… I ride around 8am. The past couple of weeks it has been too hot to ride in the evening. Luckily, my horse handles the heat well, but he still gets walk/shade breaks and a nice shower after a ride!

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  8. Humidity SUCKS. But my horse usually does pretty well in the heat — I do sometimes keep my ride shorter if it’s hot out.

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