The days are longer and the chilly breeze that makes your horse want to buck you off in the morning is gone.. It’s officially summertime at the barn! It’s the season of horse shows, trail rides, and early evening hacks. This is our favorite time of the year, but it can come with a few drawbacks. Sunburns, bugs, and dehydrated horses can really put a damper on your summer riding. To keep your heels down and spirits up, we’ve put together a list of the must-have summer barn supplies for equestrians and their horses.
This is the #1 summertime must-have at the barn. Not only will electrolytes keep your horse feeling and performing their best, they can also prevent issues like typing up and sluggishness. Electrolytes come in flavored POWDER and PASTE for the picky eaters out there. You probably don’t need to feed your horse electrolytes daily, but adding some to their feed before or after a hard workout where they excessively sweat will help them feel their best.
PS: Don’t give your horse electrolytes right before a long trailer ride. This can actually dehydrate them further if they do not have unlimited access to water over a long drive. Give them electrolytes 12-24 hours prior and upon arrival instead.
2. Fly Relief:
Unfortunately, horses and flies are synonymous in the summertime. Use Fly Spray like it’s going out of style (you can spray the walls in your horse’s stall if the barn down not have an automatic fly spray system.) There are also supplements that discourage flies from living in your horse’s manure which can be helpful.
Fly Predators are also useful for reducing the number of flies in your barn.
Fly Masks and Sheets are also necessities for your horse in the summer. Horses that are particularly sensitive can also benefit from wearing fly leg wraps.
3. Sun Protection:
Whether a baseball hat or trendy sun visor is more your style, wearing something to keep the sun off of your face is essential all year, and most importantly in the summer.
Wear sunscreen like your life depends on it (because it does).
Helmet visors can also work to keep the sun off your face while you are riding.
4. Stall Gates:
Stall Gates might not be the first product we think of when preparing for summer, but they can make a major difference in your horse’s comfort during the summer months. By adding a breathable barrier in your horse’s stall, you are allowing for more airflow, making the stall cooler and fresher. If your horse is kept in the barn and out of the heat, these stall gates will make sure they are as comfortable as possible.
Pro tip: Because these stall gates are portable, some trainers bring them when they travel to shows that have solid doors. They can be temporarily put up and allow your horse much more ventilation and social interaction (the half-size gate allows them to stick their head out) while they are away from home.
5. Summer Breeches + Riding Pantes:
To be fair, we will use any excuse to buy new breeches. When you're out riding in the summertime heat, you will be thankful for good quality, breathable breeches.
And to further prevent the discomfort that we are all too familiar with that comes with sweaty summer rides, these Eques Pantes are a lifesaver. Seriously, run, don’t walk.
6. Summer Riding Tops:
The right riding tops can mean the difference between a summer of uncomfortable sunburns and tan lines, or a summer of taking care of your skin. There are a ton of options for summer riding apparel, but it's not a bad idea to choose an option with sleeves to protect your skin from the sun during long days at the barn. Many brands also feature ventilation under the arms and lightweight fabric to keep you cool.
7. Hoof Oil:
In many areas, summertime means dryer weather than the rest of the year. While this can be great for riding, it can take a toll on your horse’s hooves. A simple remedy that goes a long way is to add a layer of hoof oil before and after every ride. This will trap in the moisture and make your horse’s hooves less likely to crack and chip.
If your horse has a hard time growing hoof in the summer, hoof supplements can help keep their feet healthy and growing properly.
8. Calming Cookies:
This is another product that we use all year. Farrier’s coming? Cookies. Long trailer ride? Cookies. The wind is blowing so hard that your roof might end up in Kansas? Cookies. The natural effects of these calming cookies and calming supplements do a great job of relieving anxiety without making horses dull or sluggish.
There is no harm in feeding them regularly so anytime you think your horse might be put into a stressful situation, calming supplements are an extremely helpful tool to make everyone’s day go more smoothly.
We use liniment like we use sunscreen - all the time and all year long.
In most areas, the winter weather can get in the way of a consistent riding schedule. During the summer months, most riders spend a lot more time with their horses. More time equals more stress on your horse’s body. An easy way to provide some relief after a strenuous ride is to include applying liniment to your horse’s legs in your post-ride routine.
PS- It works on your muscles, too!
Need a little more relief? Therapy products are a safe, effective way to keep your horse's body feeling great all year.
10. Equestrian Backpack:
All of your summer essentials, in one convenient, portable place.
The last thing you want to be doing at horse shows in the summer heat is walking back and forth from the barn to the ring because you forgot something. Whether you are a rider, trainer, horse show parent, or significant other along for the ride, having a horse show backpack or a barn backpack with all of the products you use regularly will make sure that you have your essentials on hand (hello fly spray and sunscreen) and save you those annoying trips to and from the barn.
Check out what we keep in our barn backpack HERE.
There you have it! Now that you have your summer essentials, grab your helmet and head to the barn. We'll see you out there!