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Beat the Heat with 8 Things Do With Your Horse in High Temps

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Record high temperatures interfering with your plans to ride this Summer? It might not be safe to go for all-day trail rides where you live right now, but that doesn't mean you can't bond with your horse.  Here are a handful of ideas for beating the heat with your equine taking care of horses during the summerbff.

  1. Take a short early morning or evening ride, when the heat is not at its peak.  It may not be what you hoped for, but spending even as little as 30 minutes in the saddle can be a good mental and physical break for you and for your horse. 
  2. Make an icy treat.  Freeze carrot or apple slices in short strips, or for an even more creative idea, put a few nuts in the compartments of an ice cub tray, cover with water, and freeze.  
  3. Cool off together.  Soak 2 cold towels in buckets of ice; drape one around your neck and one around his while you're working around the barn. 
  4. Swim school.  If you have water on your property and can inveswhat to do with your horse during summert the time it takes, teaching your horse to swim can be rewarding and invigorating, not to mention cooling for both horse and rider.  We like this article from equisearch.com with steps for teaching your horse to swim safely.
  5. Bonding and beaufying.  It's important to keep your horse's coat, mane, and tail clipped when it's hot to keep him comfortable, but grooming time can also be a great way for some bonding each week without overexerting your horse or yourself.  Use this time to check for any of the signs of gradual heat stroke, including loss of weight and condition, dry rough hair, and patchy hair loss over the face. Finish off your session with a nice cold treat!
  6. Give her a nice cold wipe down.  You don't want to douse your horse with cold water, but she'll appreciate a nice wipe down with a cool cloth on her belly, neck, and legs.  If you do give your horse a bath during the hot Summer months, don't use really cold water or hot water; lukewarm is best.
  7. Find a shady spot.  Why not "chill out" together, out of doors, but out of the intense heat of the sun? Find a shady spot where he can graze or relax, and spend a few minutes doing something you enjoy and find relaxing. Snap a couple of  photos to capture the moment.
  8. Try to keep your schedule flexible so that if you do get a break in the heat where you live, you can take advantage of it with a longer ride or time in the ring.

Enjoy what's left of Summer!

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