Hot Summer Tips Shared by Readers

More than 830 readers of TheHorse.com responded to a poll asking, "What precautions do you take during hot weather when riding your horse?"

results of poll on summer

Results were as follows: 

  • Offer unlimited water: 86.83% (725)
  • Provide shade/shelter: 84.19% (703)
  • Decrease the amount of work: 77.49% (647)
  • Fans: 51.14% (427)
  • Offer electrolytes: 39.04% (326)
  • Leave the horses inside: 28.62% (239)
  • Other: 20.96% (175)

(Multiple selections allowed)

Readers shared what they do to keep their horses cool during the hot summer months in the comments below.

Results of weekly polls from TheHorse.com are published in The Horse Health E-Newsletter. Published every week, this e-newsletter offers news on diseases, veterinary research, health events, and in-depth articles on common equine health conditions and what you can do to recognize, avoid, or treat them. Sign up for our e-newsletters using the form above or on our e-newsletter page.  

Look for a new poll on TheHorse.com every week!


  • cold hose
  • I find that suspended carpet-drying fans provide the greatest blast of air. My horses love theirs!
  • I give the horses a liniment bath afterwards
  • Compare comfort levels in barn and where horses hang out. Where would you rather be?
  • I use a misting system in my mare motel and the horse's love it! They can come and go as they choose
  • careful work progam with lots of showers, fans and covered arena
  • Turn the horses out from 7:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m.
  • work the horses in the evening
  • just plain ride less often; i don't tolerate heat well
  • Florida is a bake oven in summer, so I ride early in the morning or I don't ride at all.
  • My horse loves a cool hosing when it's miserably hot and humid. Be sure to remove the extra water.
  • work during the coolest hours of day with attention to cooling down, including a shower.
  • We ride at 6 AM or after 6:30 PM to keep cool.
  • ride early in the morning, watch for signs of heat stress. hose down and scrape off if body temp ii
  • How do you leave horses inside if you are riding them?
  • Walk to beach and swim
  • We cold hose the legs, neck and chest before and after riding. The evaportion helps cool the horse.
  • Don't ride when it is too hot or humid. One old horse, one too fat horse.
  • Ride early or late -no riding between 1100-1500
  • Hose the horse down before and after working.
  • I put a fan inside the trailer and one horse likes to stand in an impulse sprinkler
  • Don't ride if over 85 and high dew point
  • night turnout
  • Water. Lots of water and as much shade as possible.
  • cool water hosing
  • misters
  • Free choice pasture, salt, water and shelter
  • Dont ride them when it's hot!
  • I ride my horses in the early morning because it is not as hot as it would be later.
  • run water on them to cool them off
  • Cold water hosing, they love it!
  • I live in FL where summers are naturally hot and horses are ready for it.
  • cool baths
  • Access to stall 24/7, with fans, unlimited water, salt blox and electrolytes to those uner saddle.
  • Misters in stalls & small buckets with water & 1/2 cup apple juice.
  • I also hose horses off and have mineral salt block in addition to feeding nutrena lite balance .
  • don't ride in this heat. I also mist them down with cool water
  • bathing with cool water later in the day
  • all of the above if necessary
  • cool shower and scrape
  • Use Kool Koats to help reflect sunlight.
  • Hose to cool
  • My Clydesdales prefer snow,not hot weather-all get electrolytes and I watch for overheating
  • Pony has option of being in or out according to her preference.
  • I only ride in the early morning hours and I hose them in the afternoons.
  • and frequent hosings, and excellent fly control.
  • I don't ride
  • A good cool hosing is enjoyed by my horse and myself
  • mister
  • Hose Down with cool water
  • I put shade cloth on barn doors to enable air movement and less heat in the barn
  • if you are not giving electrolites, always have salt in stall/pasture
  • Really want to read your newsletter but can't when the advertisements keep moving and popping around
  • Hose them often
  • Nice cool bath; spray down barn aisleway
  • Hot weather = minimal riding
  • I don't ride when it is over 90 and humid.
  • When riding we take trails that are shaded and that provide water along the trail
  • work in the early morning (eg 6:30 am)
  • electrolyte cookies- www.de-lytebites.com
  • Lots of breaks. A good brushing/hose off after working.
  • hosing off when profusely perspiring
  • Ride in morning or evening when cooler
  • Misters above each stall
  • Limit work to morning and evening hours as much as possible.
  • I get up early in the morning so I can ride before the temps get too hot!
  • My black mare has a very thick mane. I braid it to keep her neck cooler.
  • hose and scrape sweat off
  • ride at sunrise
  • We really limit our riding and add the actual temps & feel like temps for a good guage
  • decrease the amounts of carbs being fed
  • Turn water sprinkler on, horse stands in the mist.
  • Ride early if at all--heat is hard on him!
  • One AC and Wheat Germ for my Anhidrotic 18 yr old Thoroughbred.
  • give them a bath
  • Add electrolytes to grain and wet all grain given
  • also give them sponge baths when the humidity is very high
  • Hosing with water
  • i do all of the above
  • Spray with cool water.
  • just started turn out at night when it is cooler
  • hose off the horses every time they are worked, or when they are really swety, and let them roll
  • fly spray, fly sheets & masks
  • hosing before and after the work out
  • do not overheat horse and spray legs with water after workout to push heat out of thru their back
  • moistened beet pulp & moistened alfalfa cubes
  • before riding, after tacking up, I hose or sponge my horses chest, stomach and between hindlegs.
  • do not ride in hottest part of the day
  • work early AM
  • ride early or don't ride
  • Free choice salt/minerals & administer 1/2 tube prior to work and more only if necessary
  • longer cool down session and a nice cold bath!
  • Rule of thumb-if it's too hot for mw.it's too hot for my 23 yr.old mare
  • after workout we will hose dwon and then apply rubbing alcohol
  • wet down with water to cool off
  • give them a nice sponge bath after a workout and walk them they are dry.
  • If I have to ride then I make sure we get lots of breaks and water the horses chest and neck
  • Ride early in the morning.
  • horses can go in and out of stall at will, hose horses down, then scrape off water
  • hose, hose,hose
  • All of the above
  • ride in morning or evening when it is cooler.
  • Work horses in the evening.
  • hose them off as necessary
  • We don't ride, in/out stalls & fresh water a must
  • I usually shower them when i bring them in from the field to cool and refresh them
  • Sponge down with rubbing alcohol and water.
  • afternoon water showers, misting, fly control to decrease need for constant movement. Outdoor shade
  • Either ride earlier in the day or later in the day when cooler.
  • Also supply a misting system in desert sw when the nights do not cool down
  • AZ - full covers over open corrals, hose off sweat, misting system, use barrels, not auto waterers
  • When riding, ride early and ride where there are water crossings to cool off.
  • Ride in the cooler parts of the day
  • I don't ride if temp plus humidity is over 180. Ride with caution if over 140. Also no neoprene pads
  • water sprinkler in the pasture
  • Drink, shade & hose them off once in a while. Sprinklers in the pasture work great!
  • let them play in the water with you holding the hose , then take them to shade and a fan is great ,
  • work early morning before it really heats up
  • I don't ride due to a lame horse that I adore. We squirt the horses off with a spray bottle
  • I watch the horses carefully and see where they feel the most comfortable.
  • Make the pond available! Swim!
  • Work in early morning or later evening rather than during the worst heat. Turn out at night.
  • lots of water, electrolytes, shade, fans, & hosing off till cool after work
  • Ride during cooler A.M.
  • turn out at night, turn out early and bring in by noon
  • I don't ride when it is hot.. Only ride early morning or late evenings
  • night turn out, ride in morning or night
  • We have misters in the barn which reduces the temp by at least 10 degrees
  • work in the cooler morning hours
  • Ride at night when its cooler.
  • Ride in cool of morn or eve. Horses choose in/out during day,in at night so no overeating & bugs.
  • hosing off after riding
  • Not a problem where we live--few days in 80's max.
  • ride early or late in day, don't ride as hard.
  • We live in Florida and don't ride in the worse part of the summer. It is too hot and too humid.
  • Alcolhol rubs if trailering in the heat & my horses love to be sprayed w/water.
  • I ride early in the morning or near dusk.
  • When I do trail ride, I carry a sponge on a rope to cool them off.
  • Sponge horse with cool water after a ride
  • After every ride my horses are rinsed down with cool water.
  • RIDE IN EARLY MORNING OR LATE EVENING HOURS.
  • After working horses we like to give them a small bath in a small pond . Some horses will even start
  • Sponging with water while riding.
  • I live in South Fl- all horses on 1AC and electrolytes, we try to limit turnout and amount of riding
  • Ride in the early morning
  • I always hose my horse off after riding.
  • Hose them when they are hot
  • Clean drinking water always available.
  • Our horses want to be in with fans on and ice in their water
  • If I'm too hot wearing a helmet and safety vest, its too hot for the horse; we don't ride
  • Prior to stalling, hose down, refill buckets mid day.
  • Don't ride during midday.
  • sponge water over poll when riding
  • Giving them a cool bath
  • hose her off
  • Frequent rest breaks while training/riding
  • Cllip, fly spray, mask & fly sheet. Ride am or pm.
  • AZ-We spray down each horse at night to cool and clean-keeps flies down, ride at night
  • Pasture in the early part of day in front of the fan the rest of the day.
  • Lots of cold water showers
  • I ride early in the day to beat the heat
  • Shorter work, longer cool-down, in the barn with fans during the day, out at night, fresh water 24/7
  • Offer them a drink after every class at a show, cool them off with a bath afterwards
  • I ride about 1 hr./day. Then hose her down good, scrape off water and then dry her off with a BIG t
  • Ride early in the morning when it's still cool.
  • Go riding at dawn for a few horses. The horses are ranch horses and run loose at all times with tree
  • ride very early or late in the day, make sure they are conditioned for the level expected of them
  • We not only use fans directly on the horse, we use them to pull air down the hallways & in windows
  • Hose with cool water and stand in front of fan after exercise
  • S. FL is hot & humid! I start Amono-3 BEFORE they show annihydrosis stress. I hose during rides.
  • Dampen the horse down on neck and quarters before the ride
  • ride earlier in the day; done by 9 am
  • If it's too hot, I don't ride. I also supplement with 1AC during the summer.
  • Ride early or late
  • Hose him down
  • Avoid riding the hottest time of the day, 1-6PM
  • Cool w/ water hose before and after workout
  • ride early; hose off in heat.
  • Ride later in the evening or earlier in the morning
  • showers for the ponies too!
  • it's way too hot in the east to do anything but keep a horse as comfortable as possible
  • Lots of cool showers and then scrape them so they cool off!
  • ride early/late in day
  • Ride early in the morning or later towards evening when the temperatures are decreased
  • morning hose down after night turn out on the way in for the day
  • Cool baths after riding
  • ride in the a.m.'s
  • Hosing with cool water as needed
  • ride early morning or late evening
  • Use common sense, pay close attention to their behaviors and have an ample supply of LL Gatorade
  • Set up a mister outside by the gate - bathe with cool water frequently
  • I just found out that my horse actually loves 'Propel' by Gatorade.
  • Before riding,I hose off the horses completely. This cools them and delays sweating.
  • A mist sprayer is a wonderful remedy for the heat!
  • A mist sprayer is a wonderful remedy for the heat!
  • A mist sprayer is a wonderful remedy for the heat!
  • We hose them down.......they love seeing the hose pulled out!
  • Sunscreen on my white nosed horses.
  • only ride early am or late pm, when it's cool.
  • hose them off as needed
  • ride early or late;wet chest/neck before riding
  • I ride in early am or late pm to avoid the heat.
  • Do not ride if high heat
  • Rinse them under the hose
  • They have fans and shade always available but can choose to go in or out.
  • ride in covered arena - cooler in the shade
  • add more loose salt to his feed, sponge them with water during work.
  • Ride real early in the morning, or real late at night.
  • periodically hose them off
  • don't ride in extremely hot weather
  • Take lots of breaks.
  • AC One
  • We add electrolytes to feed when still riding. If horses are pastured they have salt/mineral blocks.
  • The Georgia heat prevents riding in the summer
  • All of the above.
  • All of the above

About the Author

Megan Arszman

Megan Arszman received a Bachelor of Science In print journalism and equine science from Murray State University in Murray, Ky., and loves combining her love of horses, photography, and writing. In her “free time,” when she’s not busy working as a horse show secretary or riding her American Quarter Horses on her parents’ Indiana farm, she’s training and competing her Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Swedish Vallhund in dog agility and running.

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com. Learn More

Free Newsletters

Sign up for the latest in:

From our partners