Apparently we went right from Spring into monsoon season here in NC. We’ve had almost 2 straight weeks of rain, and the forecast doesn’t look to improve any time soon. While this has been great for my garden, it hasn’t been so great for riding. Even the indoor starts to look less appealing after 2 weeks.
Jack, for himself, would also like a break from the weather. The Golden Boy has really been struggling with the heat, and we are all struggling with the drowning sensation that accompanies going outside.
Despite very long warm up and cool down sessions, his panting during more strenuous sessions is noticeable. Because I don’t want my horse to keel over one day, I’ve started planning a conditioning program to hopefully get his cardiovascular fitness improved to decrease recovery time. We take lots of walk breaks while he recovers. I watch to make sure he’s sweating (he is). And I’m looking into adding electrolytes to his meals. (PS- is Smartpak’s supplement site down for anyone else?)
I’m hoping that this is just an adjustment period that we are going through, since really in terms of a NC summer, we haven’t even gotten to the real heat.
So blog fam, I need your advice! What do you guys do to help your ponies adjust to rising mercury?
Smartpak is working for me… I used these for a horse that hated powder: https://www.smartpakequine.com/ps/smartlytes-pellets-9585
Weird! I wonder why I couldn’t access it before… but your link is working so thank you! Did you notice a difference in the horse after starting these?
Yeah. He definitely started drinking more. (I used this to try to encourage him to drink after he suffered some issues from ulcers)
You’re on the right track re: conditioning and electrolyting!
I’ve applied endurance riding concepts to both myself and my horses for years to help with summer heat – work in it more. I begin with short groundwork/lunging sessions then build to short rides with intervals at trot and canter. Eventually we’ll work to where we’re doing a few hill sprints before calling it a day. Rarely do my rides exceed 30-40 minutes – though I don’t have much of a warm-up as my horses are on field board and the sheer act of calling them in or bringing them in from the top pasture achieves a warmup!
Electrolytes are also a great idea. I’ve added 1 scoop Perform ‘N Win electrolytes with 1 oz. of equal parts NaCl and KCl to my horses’ mashes through the hottest parts of summer before to help them cope. A 1-2 oz addition of equal parts NaCl and KCl (table salt and lite salt, both found easily in the grocery store) per gallon of water or 1 oz of equal parts NaCl and KCl to feed can help encourage increased drinking which will boost hydration and help counter the effects of the heat (and it’s super cheap).
Since i havent ridden in eons I can’t really help but do second(or third) electrolytes. They can’t hurt for sure and if he already has issues with heat if you get them in him now they will only help more when it really gets hot. But you know the humid rainy days are almost as bad to me than the hot humid days. it is hard to breathe in both kind of situations. Poor Jack. I hope he feels a bit better soon and hope it stops raining (yes us too the next five days have rain. We just came off a 8 day rain spree). Lawns look great, weeds are enjoying it but ugh. STOP some of the rain, thanks save that for August when we need it 🙂 HA
and i notice Remus goes thru salt like crazy when the humidity goes up, he just finished up a HUGE block of salt i his stall this week and I had to go out to get him a new one. I mean it was about 4 lbs last week so he def upped his salt intake. 😉
Post ride just hose and scrape and hose and scrape until the water being scraped off isn’t super hot to help him cool down
Oh, do share your conditioning plans! Niko and I are battling the heat and could probably use some help in this area…