From Endurance to Dressage
It's a reoccurring theme here, but it is HOT! Yesterday, I wore black tights and a technical t-shirt to work so that I wouldn't have to change clothes in the back of my truck once I got to the ranch. Instead, I kicked off my Chuck's, pulled on a pair of socks, and slipped into my barn boots. I hoped that by making the transition from work wear to barn wear quicker, I might not get so hot. HAHAHA.
I gave Izzy a cold shower and saddled him up. We spent 27 minutes hacking around the property. We have lots of trees, so it wouldn't have been too bad if Izzy hadn't acted like he'd never been out of his paddock before. He literally spooked, half bolted, and braced for 27 minutes certain that death was behind every tree. We were both red-faced and sweaty by the time I quit.
Once we finished, I gave Izzy another cold shower and left him out on the lawn which was completely shaded. I putzed around doing all of my barn chores, and then grabbed my thermometer to take Izzy's temperature. We're doing a USDF show this Sunday that is requiring several days of temperature readings.
I store my thermometer in the feed room. When I pulled it out of its drawer, I knew it was already too hot to use for taking someone's temperature. It read 104 degrees. Proof is in the photo above. I quickly poured some of the cold water from Yeti thermos into a cup and set the thermometer inside for a few minutes while I fed Speedy his lunch.
I was able to bring down the temperature of the thermometer itself, but when I took Izzy's temperature it was definitely on the high side of normal. In case you're trying to take your horse's temperature in the summer, or even in the winter for that matter, a horse's normal body temperature should run somewhere between 99 and 101. Izzy's was just a bit over at 101.8. Based on all of his other parameters, heart rate, capillary refill, respiration, attitude, and so on, I know he isn't sick. He was just hot.
When I take Izzy's temperature today, I'll make sure it's before we do anything. Exercise alone can raise the body's temperature a bit, or a lot depending on what you do. Combining work with a hot day is a guarantee to produce an elevated body temperature. When I checked my phone while I was taking Izzy's temperature, it showed 105, so it had only gotten hotter after our quick ride. Without an ice bath, a fan, and deep shade, there would be no way to get a "normal" body temperature after even a hack.
Today is predicted to be about the same as yesterday. I didn't feel very good by the time I headed home. Working for an hour doing chores and riding was just too much in that heat. While I worked and sweated, Izzy got two cold showers and a shade break. Imagine what his temperature might have been without the showers and shade.
No repeat of that today. Maybe we'll just do the cold shower and shade part.
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About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: