Ovation Riding

Warm Weather Guide

Summer in the Stirrups: Ovation's Proven Warm Weather Strategies

As summer kicks in, the call of outdoor riding becomes irresistible with sunny days and clear skies. But, in the midst of the warm weather, it's important to be cautious about the intense heat and humidity, which can pose risks to both riders and horses. We start wondering about how much heat is too much for riding and what we can do to stay cool during barn work or rides. To help address these concerns, we've put together some practical tips to ensure you and your horse stay safe and have a good time, even in the hot summer temperatures.

Tips for the Rider


Go for light-colored outfits when working around the barn or riding outdoors. Light colors reflect sunlight, helping you stay cooler. Dark colors, on the other hand, absorb sunlight and can make you feel hotter.

For a more comfortable and dry riding experience, choose summer riding apparel made from technical fabrics that allow your skin to breathe. Fabrics with moisture-wicking properties, such as Coolmax, Airmax, Cooltex, and Dri-Lex, are excellent choices. Riding tights, available in knee patch and full seat styles, are popular for their lightweight and stretchy technical fabrics.

Consider lightweight gloves and socks with wicking benefits for added comfort. Helmets with built-in ventilation features, keep you cool by allowing air to circulate. When it comes to show attire, opt for jackets and shirts made from breathable, lightweight fabrics with moisture-wicking properties and UV protection.

General Tips

Staying hydrated is crucial during warm weather. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to replenish the moisture lost through breathing and perspiration. Aim for at least eight, eight-ounce glasses of water daily to combat dehydration. Start sipping water early in the day, and don't wait until you feel thirsty. Be cautious of signs of dehydration, such as headaches, hunger, and fatigue. Avoid beverages high in caffeine and sugar, as they won't contribute to proper hydration.

Summer Riding Apparel

For the Horse

Consider consulting the heat index before embarking on a ride during hot summer days. Utilizing the heat index can help you gauge the optimal conditions for working with your horse. Prioritize the fitness and well-being of your horse to prevent overheating or health issues due to elevated temperatures and sun exposure.


Keep your horse adequately hydrated, as they will naturally consume enough water to maintain their hydration levels. Never limit your horse's access to fresh water. Water should be fresh and clean for your horse.

Include salt in your Horse's diet. Salt not increases a horse desire to drink water but provides minerals to prevent cramping and heat exhaustion. The Sodium chloride should come from a salt block or added to their food daily. Exercise caution, as excessively salting your horse's diet could result in heightened fluid loss attributable to the salt's diuretic effects.

Hot Days

Avoid horseback riding on the hottest summer days if your horse:

  • is elderly or unwell
  • is carrying excess weight
  • is recuperating from an injury
  • is unaccustomed to elevated temperatures
  • only engages in occasional work

During hot days, aim to organize your horse activities in the cooler morning or evening hours. Plan your route strategically to maximize time spent in shaded areas. This timeframe offers lower temperatures compared to the daytime, making the heat less taxing for your horse.

Heat Index

Heat Index is calculated by adding Temperature and Humidity. This value helps assess whether your horse can safely engage in outdoor activities.

Heat Index less than 130: It is safe for the horse to be active outside.

Heat Index between 130-170: Your horse's ability to regulate body temperature decreases. Monitor its health and opt for a brief ride or training session.

Heat Index of 175 or higher: Cancel planned activities. Even a short period of moderate exercise can elevate a horse's temperature to hazardous or potentially fatal levels.

Equestrian Tack Essentials