Tips for Surviving the Summer Heat

Tips for Surviving the Summer Heat

It’s summer in Texas y’all, and that is no joke.  I spent about seven years of my childhood competitive figure skating, and about another four teaching lessons in high school.  Just adding that little tidbit to say that I much prefer cold to heat.

Have you seen how blonde I am?  I’m convinced I am a Norwegian that got dropped off to grow up in humid North Carolina.  I didn’t like the heat there either, but it sure beats 105 degrees in Texas.

We’re not at 105 yet, but the 90’s are here and the 100’s won’t be far away.  In case you live in a sauna’esque  helldome like me, here are some helpful tips.

  • Get your face super red.  That way no one will be surprised if you keel over, or if you pick up your stirrups in a lesson your instructor will think it’s because of your blood red face instead of your fat tired legs.
Winning at yuck.
Winning at yuck.
  • Even though you are about to die really hot, make sure you take care of your horsie first. You’re hot, but think about the creature that has a furry coat and carried your butt around for the past 30 minutes in this god forsaken weather.
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After about 20-25 minutes
  • There is no shame in drinking from the barn hose.  Sure it will disgust your husband, but sometimes we forget a water bottle and a little hose water is better than passing out.
  • Summer is a great time to work on lateral movements at the walk… or halting… or anything that doesn’t  require an ounce of aerobic exercise.
  • Fans are your friend.

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  • You can avoid wearing pesky show clothes in the heat by just not showing… until it’s cooler (like in December), because seriously, hot as balls out here.
  • When hosing your horse down after a ride, accidentally spill water all over yourself.  Bonus points if you’re wearing a sun shirt with cooling fabric.

Really, all of these tips are useless because riding horses in the summer in this kind of heat is just not so much fun at times.  Hydrate yourself, hydrate your ponies and don’t push past your limits!

What do you do to stay cool in the summer?

29 thoughts on “Tips for Surviving the Summer Heat

  1. I go out to the barn to feed Simon (not riding right now because he’s been lame off and on and I’m not wanting to cause damage, if there’s any to be done)….within just a few minutes I’m already sweating and I’m not doing anything! This humid in NC is killing me.

  2. Henry must be a closet Norwegian too, he is DYING after 20 mins. Like, I’m kinda worried he’s going to completely keel over. Luckily he sweats well but I’ve never had one that seemed to do so poorly in the heat/humidity. Even my non-sweater did not huff and puff like does. There will be no summer horse shows for him.

    Granted, I almost passed out last night after I got home so I’m kind of on board with his plan.

  3. Believe it or not, you will get more ‘used to it’ ~ my first summer here I thought I was going to die during lessons. Riding in 100 degree heat I thought was CRAZY. The fact that some horses still needing lunging in 100 degree heat I thought was even more CRAZY.

    It helped me to always have ice water available during a lesson. Take huge sips in-between courses / gymnastics. Really helps.

  4. We may be farther north, but Oklahoma got up to 117 (!!!!!!!) last summer! I feel your pain.

    I survived by riding at 6 AM… For like a week, because I’m not a morning person. Now I just wear awesome fashion statements like running shorts and cowboy boots (for when I’m not riding) or an iced bandanna with sweaty tan breeches (for when I am riding)!

  5. HA! I can’t tell you how many times people have asked me “Are you okay?” because of my freakishly red face! Love your blogs and miss you and the ponies! -Natalie B

  6. I like to bring a frozen Gatorade to the barn. As it melts you get a nice slushy. 🙂 I also follow with lots of water, but the slushy seems like a frozen treat!

  7. My skin also turns a lovely shade of magenta. Also, my arms, and legs go for similar shades of pink. It’s not cute on me. Anyway, I do lots of frozen water bottles and take a bath with the horse after (literally head in hose) if necessary. Glories of a mid-western summer!

  8. We’ve actually had a cooler summer here in the Midwest so far, but one of my tips is to avoid the sand ring… which we lovingly call The Beach in the summer. I swear, it’s 10 degrees hotter in there than if you’re on the grass!

  9. I have a condition and I literally can not sweat, so I get overheated super quickly and I’m at risk for heat strokes/passing out and etc, so I have to be super, super careful. As much as I’m all for riding in your best and safest things (jeans for me, breeches for y’all, hahah!) I have gone out for bareback rides in shorts and even a dress with shorts underneath once because of how stinking hot jeans are in the summer. I always carry two water bottles and I use one of those rags that you can soak in water and freeze, the coolness lasts for hours. I put one in a saddle bag for Red in case he gets too hot and I keep one for me. 🙂

  10. It was 110 here on Monday. YES, I typed that correctly – 110. Tuesday was cooler … 102 or something like that. I am in the saddle by 7:30 for horse number 1, and then I make sure I am on horse number 2 by 8:30. I wouldn’t be able to do it if I had to actually work during the summer because we hit our high around 5:00 p.m. No one should be riding when it’s 110. When school starts up again in mid-August, I will be riding by 3:30 and will only be able to ride one horse a day. By the time it cools off in November, there won’t be enough light to ride the second one.

    Thankfully, it’s back to the low 90s for the weekend. It felt almost cool today! :0)

  11. Ride after work 🙂 that’s my only trick lol.

    And I drink water constantly.

    But we don’t have the humidity you have in Texas.

  12. I’ve definitely switched to riding early in the morning again. It’s been freakishly cool here the past couple of weeks, though so it hasn’t been an issue yet. Supposedly it’s going to be in the 90’s on Sunday, though. Yuck!

  13. So this is why the BM’s daughter moved back from Texas this year? lol

    It doesn’t take an accident for me to get soaked while hosing my horse. She dances around like a ninny and water inevitably gets everywhere.

    Couple days in the mid 80s but mostly sticking mid 70s so far which is ok but it’s still early!

  14. Reading this I was thinking it must be very hot in the States, then I converted the temperatures… In Summer we get up to 50C days – which is 122F. So if ya’ll start to get fed up with the heat and the humidity, just think of us Australians. 😉

  15. Me and the heat are not friends. I have to make myself drink at least one full bottle of water before I even think about grooming and tacking up. One of the barn moms keep frozen cool packs in the fridge too for me, since everyone knows how quickly I get overheated. I bring two water bottles out to ride, one for me, and the other for splashing on Libby periodically.

  16. I’ll hose my horse off and then hose my neck off. It’s my favorited thing to do after untacking. I might even take out some shampoo and give my hair a wash after my horse! Back at the trailer after a hot hunter pace once my mare was rinsed and had drank her fill I then used the same water to rinse my face and neck off. Whatever it takes! We also used to keep freezer pops in the fridge for the riders. Oh, and I work so I can only ride in the afternoon/evening so sometimes it’s 9pm and I’m just untacking.

  17. Haha, I turn super red when I’m hot. My instructors always get really worried I’m going to keel over at any second!

  18. When it’s hot and sticky, I drive to the local ice center (4 rinks) to watch hockey, or whatever is happening.

    I might even catch US Olympian Polina Edmunds practicing.

  19. I got lucky in two departments…. a) I’m from the Great Arctic North so any hot weather just feels AWESOME compared to the horrible awful icy cold of up north, and b) I have a negligible amount of Mexican blood in me (about a 1/4), and that gives me the ability to get a glorious golden tan in the summertime. This negates some of the red/burning awfulness, plus it’s a super gorgeous color. That is, until you see my pasty white legs….

  20. Way too hot. I am a delicate flower and prefer mild temps (hot and cold) ha. This winter it was in the negatives a few weeks and I almost died. That said I might prefer cold to intense heat.

  21. Texas is way too hot! Kudos for even surviving as long as you have!!

    I fall victim to heat exhaustion easily, so for me it’s important to hydrate (then hydrate some more!) and consume a bucketload of salt. Remember, salt isn’t bad for you unless you already suffer from hypertension. Cutting it out of your diet can be really harmful if you live an active lifestyle and sweat a lot!

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