The past couple of months have been very hot all around Europe. While normal non-equestrians can stay indoors and enjoy the AC, us equestrians have to take care of our four-legged friends and give them exercise every day.
When it is hot outside, it can be very frustrating to ride: not only are you going to be exhausted after a few minutes, but your horse can’t go for very long either. In this article, we’ll look at the best exercises for you to do when it’s super hot outside.
Walking can be much more than just walking
Often times, we give our horses a walk break and loose reins for a few minutes between exercises. Especially in showjumping, walking isn’t considered much of an exercise. However, there are many things you can practice in the walk.
For instance, turn on haunches and walk pirouettes are excellent ways to practice precision and teach your horse something new. Any horse can do walk pirouettes and turns on haunches – it’s just a matter of asking them.
Also, transitions between collected walk and medium walk (or even extended walk) are always a good exercise, especially for dressage riders. You can also train halts and even reverse. And, if your horse is experienced enough, half-passes and leg yields are a great flexibility exercise also done walking.
Ground poles before jumping
Jumping in 30-35 degree heat is no fun and your horse will probably get exhausted faster than you. Instead, you may want to practice ground poles and small cavalettis. With ground poles, you can easily practice finding distance, shortening and lengthening strides and make sure your horse listens to you perfectly.
Cavalettis together with ground poles make wonderful exercises and they won’t make your horse too tired too fast either.
Trail rides are the best
We all need breaks sometimes, even our horses. Taking your horse for a relaxed trail ride may be just the thing to do when it is hot outside. This way, your horse will get a break from working and training and it will give his/her mind time to rest and relax – just like you!
And let’s face it – who doesn’t like trail rides in the woods? Just remember your safety stirrups!
Riding in the heat is very exhausting for you and your horse. So, remember to drink a lot of water and give your horse plenty of fresh water and electrolytes after your ride.