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How to cope with the heat?

Published: 2015-07-16 16:15:20 Categories: Health Rss feed

How to cope with the summer heat? When the summer starts, the heat comes, and it is not unbearable only for the riders, but also for the horses for which it is easier to generate heat than it is for them to cool their bodies while the air temperature reaches 30 Celsius degrees. How can we protect our horse and ourselves before the heat and high temperatures?

Water is the basis of life

First of all, we have to remember about water. While caring about our four-hooved friends we need to provide them with a bathtub, barrel, bucket, or waterhole with fresh water so that they can have a free access to it all the time. Even if we put a bucket full of water under the horse's muzzle which it won't drink right after workout, we should provide a direct access to water. So we appeal to all horse and animal lovers to provide the constant access to fresh water. Would you want to drink from a dirty mug? Probably not, so be understanding also for our friends.

Change the place of training

Another issue to address is the issue of horse riding and trainings. If you have forests around your stable, protect yourselves and your horses before insects and go into the field, instead of riding on a sandy ground. Cool you horses legs after each training. You can use the cooling preparations, which ease the tired and susceptible to overloading parts of the body, or you can use tepid water. It is also an opportunity to wash your horse with a special shampoo to wash the dirt away. It is best to start from the legs and make your horse used to the temperature in order to avoid thermal shock. During the last de-walking you can put the wet towel around the neck. This trick is often used by riders and sportsmen after intense and exhausting training.

The effects of overheating

A more serious consequence than dehydration or electrolyte loss is a sunburn. A horse, just like a man, while lacking proper security and during heavy sun is vulnerable to burns. What are the symptoms? Usually swelling, reddening, desquamation, and in more serious cases wrinkling of the skin which was devoided of hair. The horse's nostrils are sensitive and exposed to the UV radiation, which is why we recommend to purchase a special masks, which can be attached to the noseband. They will also protect from the insects.

Electrolytes. What are they and why are they so important?

When horses sweat they organisms loose water and mineral salts, namely electrolytes. The loss of large quantities might lead to dehydration, decreasing the physical fitness, tiredness, cramps, and many other issues. It is important to keep the proper level of fluids and electrolytes, as according to the scientists the administration before, during, and after work significantly delays feeling exhaustion by horses and will help in maintaining our horse's good condition and shape.

Let's not forget about us

What we - the riders should do to avoid becoming the victims of high temperatures? Put a cap on your head, and if you're riding - obligatory a helmet or pillbox hat. It is worth to protect your skin with a special sunscreen and constantly hydrate your organism with liquids. During short workouts (lasting not longer than 1,5 hour) water would be enough for the proper hydration, which is the so called hypotonic beverage. During longer training sessions we recommend you to get some isotonic drinks, meaning those which have carbohydrates and electrolytes in their composition apart from just water. The isotonic drink can be home-made. We would need:

  • 90-100 mg of honey (ca. 4 flat spoons),
  • 900-1000 ml of water,
  • a pinch of salt,
  • pressed juice from lemon.

We recommend to mix those ingredients in tepid or warm water and cooling it later (for example by throwing in some ice cubes).