There are going to be a lot of people showing this weekend in excessive heat. I am going to be one of them. Here are some ways that I am hoping to keep Lucky and I healthy tomorrow…
1) No Jacket – I am sure that they are going to waive jackets. Knowing that, I am not planning to bring mine. Instead I am showing in a light polo shirt tomorrow. Even if they don’t waive jackets, this is a schooling show so I will still be well within the dress code guidelines.
2) Water – There is going to be a lot of water going on at this show. While they don’t have a hose to use at the show grounds, they do have a water spout. I will bring 5 gallons myself just in case for Lucky and probably a gallon for me. I froze some of the water bottles and am bringing a cooler so I will have access to cold water at the show.
3) Salt – I am normally not crazy about sports drinks, but I am bringing some with me this time. You loose salt when you sweat, and I have a feeling I am going to be sweating a LOT. I am also bringing a pasta salad that is nice and salty and some cashews that are salted. I do plan on sharing my Gatorade with Lucky if she wants it so she will get some salt as well. I also have a small bucket and a free sample of electrolytes that I will bring with me. I doubt Lucky will try that, but it is worth a try.
4) Trailering wet – I know that on the track a lot of times they will bring the horse to the track wet on a hot day so that the horse is drying off during warm up, which helps keep them cool. With it going to be almost 80 degrees when I load Lucky up at 5:00 I think that giving her a bath right before going on the trailer will help her stay cool for the ride down.
5) Wet grain – Lucky is going to get her breakfast soaked. Unlike a bran mash, which has the potential to actually take away water, just soaking normal grain will give the horse an extra half gallon of water and a fun mushy meal.
6) Frozen towels – Just heard about this one so I am going to try it. I will put some damp towels in the cooler. If either Lucky or I looks distressed after the ride the cold towels will be used to help cool down.
7) Easy warm-up – I feel like I know how Lucky ticks these days. I think that if I just do a 20 minute walk warm up with 5 minutes of trot at the end that will be just as effective as our normal 25 minute warm up. We have lots of things we can do at the walk (and only the walk), shoulder in, haunches in, leg yield, turns on the forehand and haunches, etc. If I do those things and get her soft and her body supple before we trot she will keep that relaxation and freedom going. I have 20 minutes between my tests and what I have learned with Lucky at shows is to keep her mind busy. Sure, I will be on her for an hour tomorrow, but I bet about 40+ minutes of that will be at the walk, and there will be no cantering at all.
8) Don’t be a hero – I already had limits in my brain before the ride times came out. If I was to ride after 9 am I would not have gone to the show. Lucky for me, I ride at 7:18 and 7:42 tomorrow. Even with the show being an hour away I am still hoping to have Lucky home by 10am and myself by 12:30. I know myself, and I know Lucky. If either of us is not doing well, I will pull the plug and not go to the show. While I do love ribbons, I love Lucky WAY more so I don’t want to do anything to hurt either of us.
So those are my 8 ideas for showing in hot weather. Anyone else have any tips I could use to ensure Lucky and I stay hydrated and safe tomorrow? My biggest fear is traffic on the highway since it is 4th of July weekend and the show is towards the beach. Sitting in the trailer is HOT so I want to try and keep moving at all times. Going so early I hope that traffic isn’t something I have to worry about.