Thursday, July 30, 2015

How Hot Is Too Hot To Ride Your Horse and Wildfires


It's been a while since I wrote, so I wanted to give a little update.  In June, our beautiful, warm winter and spring turned into an inferno--both with the weather and in a more literal sense, with wildfires.  We had a string of 100+ degree days.

And then, the park where I often ride near my home, had a fire.  It was a windy, hot day that could have resulted in a complete tragedy except, luckily for us, the wind was blowing in the direction of a large, green cemetery that acted like a body of water and helped to stop the fire's progress.


This is the bridge where I'd sometimes train my horses.

The park.  I rode it after the fire and took these pictures.  The firefighters had bulldozed fire lines all around the active portion and it created lots of new trails through the burned out area.

The pastures at our house, which usually have grass all year, but in unusually hot, drought years will die out in late August, were dead in late June this year, which caused us to start feeding hay early.

The horses are all doing great and survived the record breaking heat, but there were fewer rides. Tomorrow we're leaving for Norway, to visit family, just as the temps are heading back up around here.  In Norway the weather will be in the 60's most days, with lots of rain.  Here, we haven't seen rain at our house for longer than I can remember.

I'm curious, what is the hottest temperature you'll ride your horses in?


19 comments:

  1. Fires are so scary. Looks like they'll have to build a new bridge. It's been hot here too but probably not as bad as you. We're in the 90's this week with high humidity. That's what gets me is the humidity. I won't ride my horses when it's 90 or above. Depending on the humidity it 85 could be the cut off point. I love the Autumn best, then Spring and I don't mind riding in Winter either. I'm just not a Summer person.

    Enjoy your Norway trip it sounds wonderful. I'm sure it's a beautiful country.

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    1. Humidity makes it seem a lot hotter. Our heat is dry. Still, too hot for me! I think my cut off is 90.

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  2. I used to always ride early in the mornings because it's cooler & there are less bugs. Evening rides when the day starts to cool are nice, but more bugs & it is often very humid.
    Though the weather didn't stop me in years past, I think it's a privilege to slow down some at this stage of life, so I have no desire anymore to ride if the temperatures get up to 80 degrees - I think we're all more comfortable here in the mid-70's.

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    1. Mornings are great. Good point about the bugs!

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  3. I like to ride when temps are below 80. I will ride in the low 80s but only for a lesson and only in a covered arena. I absolutely will not ride when the temps are above 87 or 88. I'm not trying to get to the Olympics so why be miserable -- both me and my horse. That's just not fun -- and I'm about enjoying my rides at this point in my life.

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    1. I know what you mean about keeping it enjoyable. If it's in the 80s we try to ride in the trees.

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  4. Fires are so destructive! I don't have a set cut-off high or low temp, too many variables. I don't ride in either extreme, it's no fun for horse or rider.

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    1. That's a good rule to go by, if it's no fun for you it's probably not for your horse!

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  5. I will ride when it's in the 80's but I live in Canada so heat is kinda relative. :) Having the horses at home give me options for riding when the weather is suitable. If I ride in the heat I change my plan for the ride and it's more about suppling and bending and much less cantering/trotting.

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    1. Our weather is probably similar to yours. We keep it low key when it's hot, too.

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    2. Our weather is probably similar to yours. We keep it low key when it's hot, too.

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  6. I like to ride in the early morning hours in the summer, although I sometimes ride in the late afternoon provided the humidity is low (right with you there!) and there is a slight breeze. I don't usually ride if it's above 95 or so.

    I'm in South Alabama, so it gets pretty toasty here in the summer (though this year it's giving Hades a run for it money ;o) I have only ridden once this summer because our record breaking temps have been so unusually high.

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    1. :) It has felt like Hades here some days, too! Not fun!! Can't wait for Autumn!!

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  7. I don't ride much at all in the heat, if I don't like it, I sure won't make my horse pack me and a saddle around. When I do ride it's mostly walking, a little bit of trotting but mostly a leisurely pace just to get out. Fall and spring I ride more.

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    1. I'm with you--fall and spring are great. I enjoyed reading the update on Kai. What a story!! It seems all your horses go to really, really good homes and make deep connections with their people. :)

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  8. I just can't tolerate the heat these days. I've had heat stroke twice now, and it's changed my ability to deal with it. I don't ride if I'm uncomfortable, which leaves the late evenings if I still have energy. We try to ride in the mornings on the weekends if we have the time, but because we both work full time, there's always plenty of other required chores that sap our time and energy. I'm soooo looking forward to my retirement when I can do what I want with my time!! We've had a much hotter and drier spring and summer here too, triple digits and I'm just toast.

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    1. You sound like me! I can't tolerate the extreme heat either. I'm enjoying mornings and evenings with the herd, but haven't been able to ride because we're 10 days away from daughter's wedding..at our house! I feel...desperate!

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  9. Heat and I don't agree. I rarely ride when the heat index is above 85 - we get a lot of humidity here - otherwise I'm red-faced and just over cooked. The horses do better, particularly in the shade of the indoor, but I don't. They all tolerate the heat well - Pie used to have trouble with heat after he had Lyme, but that seems to be much better now.

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    1. I think my horses can handle more heat than I can, too. The humidity is deal breaker. We usually try to ride in the trees if it's in the 80's, even without the humidity.

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Please feel welcome to join our discussion--tell us about your own thoughts and experiences.