Keeping Cool

With another scorcher of a day, I debated skipping another day of riding, but with my first show in 3 weeks, I wanted to practice what I learned at my lesson.  But I took a bunch of precautions.

1) I rode very early in the morning.  I got to the barn before 7 am when it was still in the 80s.  It was nice to see the horses munching their hay in the peace of the morning.  I was surprised no one else had the same idea.

2) I hosed PJ off before I went into the ring. I got under his belly, his chest, under his tail, and down his legs.

3) I gave him lots of breaks.  We trotted and once he felt nice and bouncy through a few serpentines and straight-aways I gave him a break.  Then we did some canter work and I gave him another break.  We ended on walk work.

4) We didn’t ride very long, maybe 30 minutes.  I really wanted to work more on our canter departs because they were bad, but PJ was panting.  It wouldn’t have done any good to drill.  I ended by working on the collect at the walk and then going forward, which is related to our canter departs because it is about responsiveness to my seat.

5) I quickly untacked him and hosed him off again.  I started on his belly and legs, where the big veins are close to the surface, and moved up from there.

6) I made sure he had some fresh water in his buckets. I probably should have done this before our ride.

When I put him back in his stall, the fact that he didn’t rush to drink the new water was a good sign.  He seemed comfortable.  He’ll be able to rest all day in his stall during the worst of this heatwave, and won’t go out until the evening when it’s a bit cooler.  Being safe in inclement weather is the most important thing.  It doesn’t help to do the perfect trot half-pass if you pass out before reaching the rail, and it definitely doesn’t help build a horse’s confidence if he’s pushed pass his limits.  Be cool and be safe everyone!

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One Response to Keeping Cool

  1. Pingback: Welcome to the August Blog Carnival of Horses | EQUINE Ink

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