Kris, over at Savvy Horsewoman, invited me over to do a little summer-y post for her fabulous site, and I wanted to share it here with you as well! This was a fun post to do, as seasonal posts are my fave! Enjoy!
Just like you, I’ve read my fair share of “equestrian summer essential” posts, and everyone seems to have their own favorites list! I think we can agree, though, that a few products are absolutely essential when working outside with horses: sunscreen, nifty water bottles, sweat scrapers, fans, and gallons of fly spray. We can’t forget the three cardinal rules for summer riding, either: ride in the cooler times of the day, know the signs of heat exhaustion for your horse, and always do a proper cool down after riding.
Perhaps I’m biased, but I think equestrians are pretty tough when it comes to summer. The heat doesn’t stop us from caring for our horses, and taking advantage of the long days at the barn! We just know how to work smarter!
Like I mentioned before, each rider has their own favorite savvy summer products, and I’m no different! Working in a horse barn every day has lent me some valuable experiences teaching me how to deal with humid heat and wet conditions. Here are my top five must-haves to help me survive the scorching summer months in Oklahoma!
1. Breathable sports bra. The Champion Curvy Sports Bra is excellent–it’s supportive, but it doesn’t give you that tell-tale smooshed sports bra look. Not only does it work great for lessons or trail rides, it creates a nice silhouette under show clothes! Plus, it’s made with a breathable fabric to help wick-away moisture and keep you cool for summer riding and barn work. This particular bra comes in several fun summer colors at an affordable price!
2. Muck boots. My last pair of Tack II-Hi Muck Boots lasted ten years! Ten. These boots are well worth the money; they are comfortable and are guaranteed to protect your feet from the inevitable summer mud and dirty stalls you encounter at the barn! Horse-keeping can be messy, and these boots are super handy for those extra dirty barn jobs.
3. Electrolytes. As equestrians, we know the importance of hydration for ourselves and our horses. Horses require one-to-two ounces of salt per day, and that amount doubles in the heat of the summer, especially if your horse performs any exercise. There are several options for ensuring your horse regains those lost electrolytes, including electrolyte paste, pellets, and block form. If your horses are like mine, however, they might turn up their noses at these options. Providing free choice loose salt is a great alternative. Free choice loose salt is inexpensive and easy to consume. You can provide free-choice salt in his stall so it stays dry, or in a covered mineral feeder outside. Make sure you purchase plain white salt intended for consumption.
4. Cashel Crusader Long Nose Fly Mask. Make your equipment work double duty by purchasing a fly mask with a nose band. Not only does this mask provide great protection from pesky insects, it prevents sunburn on horses with white markings. My gelding gets horrible sunburns on his white nose, and this fly mask has been a life saver! I’ve been using this particular brand and style for the past five years and it hasn’t let me down yet. It fits comfortably, lasts even through the roughest of play, washes off easily, and unlike other brands, the long nose portion actually reaches past the nostrils and provides excellent protection. If you live in an area where ticks abound, try the one with ears to prevent nasty tick bites deep in the ears. A product with three uses is a winner in my book!
5. Herbal Horse Shine Bright Coat Conditioner. Summer is the season to make your horses shine! I cut-back on my grooming in the summer since my horses’ hair coat is so short, but I do love to use a shine spray to help give them that added glow. I’ve found that most sprays tend to leave an oily residue, attracting dirt and making my saddle pad slippery. This spray is organic, made with all-natural ingredients and does not leave any oily residue! Handmade by a fellow equestrian, it’s affordable and has a delicious citrus smell too!
There you have it! These five life-savers will help me outlast the summer barn heat for sure, and keep my horses healthy in the meantime! What are your favorite summer-time tips for riding and barn work?