1. Ride early in the day or later in the evening. Best to ride first thing in the morning, after a long day in the office when the weather has been hot you yourself may not be ready for a ride!
2. Think about the ground. In hot weather, the ground can get hard. Look after your horse legs, carry out slower work, ride on a surface and hose legs down for a minimum of 10 minutes after riding. There are also a variety of ice boots on the market that can be used.
3. Ensure horse has plenty of fresh water. Do change this water regularly as in the field the water will become warm rapidly and the horse less likely to drink. If a horse is not drinking include salt in the feed or as a lick this should then encourage drinking.
4. Use electrolytes, these can be in the horses feed or water. If in water do supply an alternative source as some horses may not like the taste.
5. At feed times consider including a feed that is watered down such as sugar beet.
6. Sun cream for horses is also a consideration especially the pink nosed types.
7. When turned out ensure there is a shady area or shelter the horse can go to. Consider turning out and night and keeping in a cool airy stable during the day.
8. Flies can be a problem, use a good quality fly repellent, fly masks and rugs if required.
9. At the end of your ride spend sufficient time to cool your horse down and hose the horse down with cool water. As you are hosing scrape the water off regularly as this is the best way to help the horse cool down.
10. Remember it is not just the horse you need to think about keep yourself covered, do not be tempted to wear shorts and sleeveless tops, always wear your hat, sun cream is a must and make sure you are hydrated.
Written by RMH