California has lived up to its name of being a desert by the sea recently! Because of this intense heat wave, I’ve been diminished to a puddle and getting on a horse to work out has been quite the hassle. However, as all horse crazy people do, I get on every time. Ideas have been hitting me recently on the ways that I can feel better about beating the heat. Below is an explanation and a picture of my 24/7 pack for a smart and safe summer, before, during, and after a ride.
Before a ride: Personally, I have been riding early mornings and late evenings to try and avoid prime time for sunburns and heat stroke. Regardless of when I go, an hour before I get to the barn, I ALWAYS drink at least one bottle of water. It is much safer to put in more than what you will sweat out. Beware, make sure you use the restroom before getting ready—there is nothing worse than having to pee while riding or having to re-tuck your already perfectly tucked shirt. Hydration is key, but often we forget about our skin. Heat strips all the natural moister from my lips, face and hands. Even though I wear a long sleeve shirt and gloves every time I ride, I make sure to apply some type of lotion for caution. Similarly I must apply chapstick before I get going. Dry lips that crack and bleed are not only unhealthy, but also are so very painful! Finally is my deodorant. Yes, I wear man deodorant so I don’t smell awful, but hey, if you don’t feel your best while riding, you won’t ride your best!
During a ride: Even though I never want to stop a lesson, I have my second water bottle for my extremely necessary breaks. Sometimes I will open my granola bars and snack on a half if I have time. (One thing to note about me: I am always hungry)
After a ride: Once I am off and my horse is untacked, I take off my tall boots and throw on my rain boots. Why rain boots? My sweaty legs hate the heat and are punished by the insolated leather of my tall boots. Short rain boots are easy to rinse off and won’t get destroyed if I decide to water down a dehydrated horse. My many choices for sports drinks are a life saver when I am over heating at the barn. The sugar and electrolytes almost instantly get me perky again. Once everything has been cleaned up or washed off, I sit down with my four legged companion and share a little granola snack—After all sharing is caring.
Stay safe friends!