The sun’s almost always out and shining in Southern California, but during the summer and early fall months, the heat really turns up. So does the chance that you–and your horse–get too much exposure. Below, Jasmin Stair, trainer, owner of Jasmin Stair Stables, and Co-Founder of The Equestrian Confidential, shares her top tips on keep you and your furry partner cool and prepared for summertime.
Don’t forget the sunblock
Stick, or liquid? Spray, or powder? Nowadays, there are a lot of different types of sunscreens on the market, and a lot of the differences between them simply come down to personal preference. But as an equestrian athlete, a sweat-proof, long-wearing sunscreen is your best bet for preventing sunburns and keeping the sunscreen out of your eyes (ouch!). It can be easy to forget, but it’s also always important to regularly re-apply your sunscreen, especially when you’re hanging out around the barn without a helmet or gloves to protect the sensitive skin on your face and hands. Keeping your sunblock in an easy-to-access place–such as your car, purse, or show trunk–can help you to remember.
Check out this article for a list of 5 sweat-resistant, athlete-tested sunblocks.
More and more brands are carrying clothing made with fabrics that help keep your skin protected from the sun’s harmful UV rays, which come out in full force during the summer. Many equestrian outfitters and supply stores like Mary’s Tack & Feed carry a variety of show shirts, gloves, andcasual riding apparel that keep your skin cool and safe from the sun’s rays.
Photo Courtesy of Savanah Stuart
Even if you’re already wearing sunscreen, it’s still smart to wear a hat to protect your face when you aren’t riding. After all, large-brimmed hats aren’t just a trend at the show grounds and around the barn–they’re vital for protecting yourself from the sun. Another way to keep cool in your riding clothes is to select pieces that feature light colors, such as pastels; darker colors on clothing absorb the heat from the sun’s rays. It’s also never a bad idea to bring an extra shirt to change into after riding, too, especially after getting sweaty in the sun.
Walk it out
It can be tempting to wrap up a ride more quickly than usual when the sun’s heat is out in full force. However, it’s important to always take that extra 10 to 15 minutes to properly walk your horse after a ride and give him the time he needs–and deserves–to cool down. This allows your horse to relax and lower his body temperature after a ride and prevents him from overheating, which is especially important to consider if you’re riding your horse multiple times in a single day, such as during a show.
Photo Courtesy of Savanah Stuart
Good old H2O
Of course, it’s always a good idea to bring enough water to the barn to keep from overheating. During the hot summer months, it can be easy to underestimate just how much water you’ll need to stay hydrated, especially for a hard training session at the barn or a long day at a show. There isn’t always a lot of time between classes at shows to refill your water bottle, so make sure you bring an extra-large thermos or flask to carry you through the day. You can also opt for coconut water, which will not only keep you more hydrated than the average sports drink but will also provide an extra kick of potassium and antioxidants.