It’s approximately 8,547°F here by 11am during these long and oven-like summer months. My default is mostly to ride in the evenings after work — the humidity is lower and there is usually a breeze at the barn. But even at 7:30pm it’s still in the 90s.
Where I board Eli, there are a ton of hot weather amenities (perhaps known as necessities in Texas), so I don’t worry about him getting too hot throughout the day.
The stalls have high-powered fans, the cross-ties have high-powered fans, there are four wash racks, and all of these things are under one roof, out of the sun. A breeze typically blows through the barn, but not always so those fans are a necessity in the summer here.
Even if we get all hot and sweaty from exercise, cooling Eli out afterward is pretty easy.
But there are a couple of other things I have to do for Eli in the summer–things that don’t really come up during the winter months (except one).
Pyranha Spray & Wipe
Oil-based formulas do a number on Eli’s skin and coat so I have to stick with water-based fly sprays. This one seems to last at least a while … It sure would be easier for Eli if he would just lets us spray him but he is still as terrified of it as he was 5 years ago, even with trying to get him used to it. I brush this on to his coat. I also spray down his stall with it in the evenings.
These fly spray wipes from Enviro Equine are amazing, mainly because they actually work, and for longer than 5 minutes! They are great for Eli’s face, or even his whole body if the flies aren’t too bad and I don’t need to reach for the Pyranha (does any one else get confused about where the ‘H’ goes?). 10/10 recommend.
Gold Bond Powder
GoldBond gets a lot of use in the summer around the barn. I put it in my tall boots, but I use it on Eli, too. I douse the top of his tail with it and he doesn’t rub. I also try to get some onto his itchy summer face so that he doesn’t rub his skin off. To do his face, I have to powder my palm and wipe it on. It comes in handy for the pasterns, too.
I am not sure how many times I am going to sing the praises of Quia-Cal on this blog, but here we go again. I LOVE this stuff. In the winter, it’s handy for before riding if Eli’s been up due to weather. I like him to get it before trailering to a show, too. And now I’ve discovered that because it helps with nerve health and muscle recovery, why not give it after a more intensive flat work session, like one with lots of transitions? I think it keeps body soreness at bay for Eli after a “tough” work out. (We never work all that hard, though, haha)
Apple Elite Electrolyte Paste
Of course in the summer, electrolytes are practically a given in the kiln that is Texas heat. I don’t give these every day, as that would be a little too extra, but I have found that because I ride in the mornings on Saturdays when it’s humid, Eli could use the extra then, so he gets a little after a ride, along with his actual apple and water, which brings me to …
…I ALWAYS have an 8-quart bucket of water with Eli in the cross-ties while I am tacking him up before a ride and cooling him out after a ride. Some years ago, I managed to translate his pawing as a sign of thirst. He likes to drink both before I put on the bridle and after a ride. Our workload is only light to moderate, so letting him hydrate himself just seems like a no-brainer to me at this point. Plus, he never paws in the cross-ties now! Well, unless I start brushing his shoulders, then sometimes he paws once and does a big stretch.
Do y’all have any hot weather strategies to keep your horses comfortable?