Heat Getting Us Down

I know. I haven’t posted a riding related post in ages. This is the most unmotivated I’ve been since starting this blog 2.5 years ago. It’s not that I’m not enjoying riding regularly (I am) I just feel like we are doing a lot of the same stuff I’ve written about previously and it feels redundant. But, I miss writing and I’m going to be better about updating. This blog is essentially a riding journal for MYSELF and I want to have post to reference in the future.

That being said, this isn’t a riding update so much as a whine about the heat. This week is the first week we’ve had continuous temps above 100, 102 most days- 104 predicted for Saturday. You all know that Rio has anhidrosis and doesn’t sweat much at all. I started a new supplement early this spring (True Sweat) and in May and most of June he was sweating better then he has EVER sweat. Once the temps consistently hit the 90’s though… he has almost completely stopped. He sweats on his saddle pad, but not even a big lather like you might expect when the temps are so high. The great sweat he was getting on his neck and chest has stopped.

I had been managing it by wiping him down with water every 5-10 minutes during our rides, which was working well. When the temps were low to mid 90’s this allowed us to basically continue working like normal. I hacked him on Tuesday night at 7 pm and it was the first time this summer where I truly felt concerned and had to severely limit our work. It was SO HOT that the water didn’t seem to be helping much. The water allows him to cool by evaporation, which works tremendously well but is a very slow process. I think we have finally hit that heat level where the slow cooling by evaporation isn’t cutting it well. I can still LIGHTLY ride, but he was panting pretty bad and we had to take lots of breaks in the shade. I’m talking 1-2 canter laps around the ring and then a 3-5 minute break in the shade.

The only way to get him to cool faster would be heaping lots of cold water on him or standing in front of a huge fan after I wet him down. Neither of these are really possible at my barn set-up. So… what’s a girl with a non-sweating horse to do? Just take it easy and wait for the temps to go back down. We don’t have a show planned until mid October so we may just be taking it super easy the next few weeks and hope the temps break. How do your horses handle the heat? How is the temp where you live?

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  1. Henry sweats, but I still don’t really ride him much in the afternoon/evenings during the really bad heat waves like this. It’s miserable. We just do most walking rides during the week and then I ride early on the weekends. I’ve come to think of it as off season lol.

    1. Very good points. August is like our equivalent of an insanely cold winter. Rio is definitely going to get it pretty easy these next few weeks till the weather subsides to a reasonable level!

  2. That heat is torture for anyone, but especially for a horse that doesn’t sweat. Poor guy. It sounds like you’re doing the best you can.
    Maybe try the beer? It can’t hurt, and the horses seem to love it!

  3. I dunno, I don’t think it’s a big deal to not ride much (or not ride at all) for a few weeks when the temps are SUPER hot. That’s what I do in the winter, just for the opposite reason, lol

    1. I agree that it isn’t a big deal and probably wouldn’t effect his fitness much. I just hate the idea of him being in his stall all day. He get’s night turnout (which is great) but either my trainer or I try to ride him at least lightly every day to stretch his legs and muscles.

  4. Quick gets really sweaty, even just walking up to the barn. In Virginia, it’s so humid and sticky hot that 90 degrees can have a heat index of 103. I try to stay out of the sun midday and the horses usually stay in with fans blasting. How many days until the fall??

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