All winter long, you look forward to the warm days of summer, knowing how much you will enjoy going pleasure riding and trail riding without the discomfort of freezing temperatures. Now that summer is here, you might be wondering what on Earth you had been thinking as the sweat drips into eyes and your horse has never seemed more irritated or lethargic.
Your trail and pleasure rides of summer can be made far more safe and comfortable with the appropriate horse riding apparel, horse riding equipment and the proper hydration. As you and your horse sweat, you lose critical amounts of water that your bodies need to function and stay cool. Providing your horse and yourself with significant increases in fresh, cool water is the first step to making your summer pleasure rides safer and more enjoyable.
A Well Cared For Horse Is A Happy Horse
Your horse will be far more responsive and manageable on your summer trail and pleasure rides if he or she is healthy, hydrated and wearing the appropriate horse riding equipment. Salt is a critical component of summer health, as it allows you and your horse to hang on to as much water as possible. Be sure that your horse has access to a mineralized salt lick and plenty of fresh, cool water whenever possible. Excessive sweating, in horses as well as people, can result in a serious loss of fluids and electrolytes, a potentially fatal situation.
The proper horse riding equipment is equally important. During the summer months, you will want to use the lightest saddle possible and a saddle blanket or saddle pad that prevents chaffing as it wicks away moisture. In addition, you will want to keep your other horse riding equipment to a minimum. If a piece of horse riding equipment is not necessary to your safety or the management of your horse leave it in the tack room. Your horse needs to sweat to stay cool. Too much equipment can interfere with this natural process, resulting in an overheated animal that will be less cooperative at best and in danger of hypothermia in the worst-case situation.
Your Head Isn’t The Only Thing You Need To Keep Cool When Riding In Summer
Everyone knows that a cool head is necessary when riding horses. Being the panicky creatures that they are, horses often overreact and put themselves and their riders at risk as their flight response takes over. To help you stay cool, calm and collected, you need to wear horse riding apparel that allows you to be physically comfortable while maintaining good contact with your horse during the hot summer months.
Luckily, there are many fabrics that take advantage of modern technology to wick away moisture while allowing you to maintain good contact with your horse. The stars of summer horse riding apparel are cotton and bamboo. These materials are naturally breathable, which means they help your skin stay cool as your sweat evaporates. Both fabrics are generally manufactured with the addition of Lycra or spandex to provide you with the comfort and flexibility you need to move freely while maintaining contact with your horse. Avoid the temptation to wear something light and baggy form home while on a trail or pleasure ride. They will not protect you from chaffing and they can be potentially dangerous, especially out on a trail ride.
Cotton is the traditional fabric of choice for summer riding. Lightweight and breathable, it assists your body’s efforts at staying cool. There are many excellent choices of summer horse riding clothes on the market today. You can purchase the ultra-light Light Cotton Knee Patch Breeches, Cotton Schoolers, which can serve as a liner during the winter months, Ribb Full Seat Breeches or Aerocool Full Seat Breeches, that wick away moisture very rapidly to keep you dry and comfortable.
Bamboo is another material that makes the perfect summer horse riding apparel. Sustainable, strong and comfortable, bamboo horse riding apparel is good for you and good for the planet. This easily renewable resource provides all the comfort and breathability you need for a safe and comfortable summer trail or pleasure ride. Some styles of bamboo horse riding apparel incorporate TechnoWeave, which includes Lycra for a snug, yet breathable fit. Wearing the appropriate summer horse riding apparel goes a long way to help you stay cool and comfortable…and keep drinking that water!
By simply wearing the appropriate summer horse riding clothes, using the correct horse riding equipment and staying hydrated, you and your horse can enjoy many hours of summer trail and pleasure riding without putting yourselves at risk of heat stroke or hypothermia.
Anne Coyle is a writer for The Equestrian Corner. They provide high quality horse riding apparel and horse riding equipment that will help you to stay safe, cool and comfortable in the summer heat.