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How to Stay Cool at Summer Shows


With summer show season in full swing, being in the heat is pretty unavoidable. Even with all the other factors we have to think about while showing, staying healthy in the sun should be a priority. We work hard to make sure our equine athletes are at peak health, but the same needs to be done for ourselves. GoHorseShow has compiled some tips on how to beat the heat this summer.

Make Shade and Create a Breeze

Often, summer horse shows leave attendees boiling in the sun with little shade or breeze. Even if the show grounds have covered arenas, the stall areas offer little relief after finishing your classes. A cost-effective way to create shade is by utilizing shade tarps at your stall area. These shade tarps are easy to hang and create shade in a variety of sizes, densities, and prices.

A con of these shade mesh tarps is that while they can block some of the sun, these tarps can hinder the air circulation in the area. Because of this, adding a breeze will make the situation optimal. Industrial fans are a perfect solution to this problem and are very easy to get a hold of.

Get Misters

At many shows, pop up tents are a mainstay. They are a great way to create shade, but sometimes they can only go so far in cooling you down. Adding misters to your pop up tent is a great way to feel refreshed while staying in the shade. Finding misters to add to your arsenal against the sun is pretty simple by getting tents with misters already installed or buying the misters separately to fit yourself. You can find both of these options with a variety to choose from that covers all budgets.

Utilize Cooling Bandanas

Avoiding heatstroke and heat exhaustion is extremely important for staying healthy when spending time in the heat. For more portable cooling, a wet bandana can be your new best friend. Your neck, elbows, wrists, and behind your ears are great cooling points on your body. Placing a wet bandana or cloth on one of these points is a quick way to cool down your body temperature, which is great for those classes that seem to go on forever. Sticking them in ice water or your ice chest will give them an added boost of refreshment. There are a multitude of options on the market for these cooling bandanas..

Make Heat Conscious Food Decisions

The food choices you make are critical while out in the heat because proper hydration and nutrition is key to the body’s natural cooling system. Like any athlete, having the appropriate fuel is incredibly vital to have proper performance. While many equestrians focus more on the fuel our equine companions are being fed, it is essential that as riders, we make sure that the focus is put on preparing ourselves too.

One way to make sure that we can stay healthy in the heat, alongside trying to keep cool, is making sure we replenish what our body depletes while riding. One of the easiest ways to do this is, of course, by drinking your recommended water intake. Drinking water is the best way to stay healthy in the heat. You can supplement the benefits of water by adding more electrolytes to the mix because electrolytes can help fight muscle cramps, fatigue, and mental confusion. You can get Gatorade or electrolyte packets to add to water when you feel these symptoms are becoming more noticeable. 

Not only can you use liquid to up your electrolyte intake, but you can also do the same with food. Foods such as spinach, lettuce, and celery are great for electrolytes as they are high in sodium, potassium, and magnesium. So, summer salads are not only a great option because they are delicious, but aid in the defense against the heat.

Make Smarter Clothing Choices

There’s no denying that as exhibitors in this industry, many of us are a fan of glitz and glitter. And while these look amazing in the pen, so many of these pieces act as a heavy suit of armor. Another way to stay cool at blazing summer shows is to be wise with your clothing options.

So instead of wearing the heavy jacket for your pleasure or horsemanship class, utilizing the lighter options for clothing is an effective way to stay cool while mixing up your show wardrobe. While you can go with a simple button-up, show clothing companies have started creating what they call day shirts.

So, this summer, while you brave the heat at shows, focus on being safe and staying healthy. Even if you don’t immediately feel the effects that sun exposure can have on your body, always make sure to take precautions when being active in the sun. While these tips are more creative, you should always make sure you’re staying hydrated and being as fresh as possible. Be safe this summer and happy summer showing.


About the Author: Samantha Fox is a devoted equestrian who attends CSU Stanislaus and is majoring in business. She has been riding and competing for ten years and can’t imagine her life without her horses. Samantha’s favorite classes are showmanship, western pleasure, and trail. She is excited to tackle the western events in 2019 with Tys Good N Red aka Boris.

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