Ah, summer! We love the long hours of daylight and balmy evenings that give us ample opportunities to ride and spend time with our horses. But it doesn’t come without a price: We must endure sun exposure, heat, and humidity. Summer extremes can be not only uncomfortable, but downright miserable and even dangerous. Keeping yourself and your horses cool can become a matter of more than comfort—it can keep you safe and healthy, too.
[READ ABOUT:Cool-Down Strategies for Your Horse]
Here we examine products designed to keep summers at the barn, on the trail, and at the horse shows cool. These creations make use of novel concepts, cutting-edge materials, and top-quality craftsmanship. Check them out so you and your horse can enjoy the best of summer.
The product: Equine Deluxe Instant Cooling Body Wrap by Equi Cool Down, Inc.
Details: Equi Cool Down has taken their popular Equine Body Wrap and super-sized it, covering more of your horse’s body for more complete cooling. Taking the original design (made to fit horses up to 18 hands), they’ve increased the body portion from 60-by-63 inches to 67-by-82 inches and added a chest flap and a removable belly flap. Activate the cooling mechanism by spraying the wrap with water. The wrap contains no gel, beads, crystals, or frozen inserts; plus no electricity is needed. The wrap gently cools affected areas, eliminating the risk of tissue damage from extreme cold.
Inside scoop: This patented product won a 2015 BETA Innovative Product Award and a 2016 Nation’s Cup Innovative Product Award. The versatile “one-size-fits-most” design is achieved using flexible and adjustable leg and chest straps, which also keep the body wrap in place while allowing the horse to move freely. The wrap is safe to place directly on your horse, and if it gets dirty, cleaning is easy. Simply hose it down, hand-wash the wrap, or put it in a washing machine with mild detergent.
More info: $219.99; equicooldown.com.
The product: Aqua Shield Wrist Wrap by Cashel.
Details: This is one of those little items that makes a big difference! This product solves the annoying problem of water running down your arm and soaking your clothes while bathing your horse. The handy little foam cuff with a hook-and-loop closure wraps around your wrist and keeps water away from your body, which makes hosing down a horse less messy.
Inside scoop: The flexible foam cuff is easy to apply to your wrist and stays in place while wet. Its 2.5-inch width won’t interfere with the business of bathing or cooling off the horse, but will keep you from soaking yourself and your clothes.
More info: $8.99; cashelcompany.com.
Cooler Indoor Ride
The product: AirVolution-D 780 Fan by MacroAir, distributed by Innovative Equine Systems.
The claim: Innovative Equine Systems’ new line of MacroAir barn and arena fans delivers the cooling breeze your horses need during warmer months without the noise of some fans. Proper air circulation helps keep barn aisles and indoor and covered arenas cooler during the hottest times of the day, and keeps airflow fresh during any season. Not to mention keeping horses, riders, and spectators comfortable.
Inside scoop: MacroAir fans are available in diameters ranging from 43 inches up to this massive 24-foot version (shown above). The direct-drive motors have no gears, making them 100-percent maintenance-free, and they’re easy to wash down when they get dusty.
More info: Starting at $7,900; equinesystems.com.
The product: Equestrian Endurance Visor from Da Brim.
Details: With stylish curves and a flattering design, this Equestrian Endurance helmet visor not only provides fantastic sun protection, but is also a fashion statement. Perfect for a long trail ride or practicing in an outdoor ring, it attaches to your helmet quickly and easily without modification to your helmet or sticky adhesives. It stays secure, even at a gallop, but is also easy to remove and store in a pocket or pouch. Plus the visor doesn’t inhibit your helmet’s airflow.
Inside scoop: This visor has a reinforced brim edge for stability and offers UPF50+ sun protection. Its water-resistant materials keep rain off your shoulders and neck during rainy-day rides, too. It works with virtually any equestrian helmet and includes a pocket for use with helmets featuring non-removable visors. Colors available include midnight black, silvery gray, Texas tan, orange, and chocolate brown.
More info: $44.95; dabrim.com.
Cool Under Saddle
The product: Comfort-Fit SMx Air-Ride Saddle Pad by Professional’s Choice.
Details: Developed for the horse’s back, this saddle pad is contoured to follow the natural curve of the equine spine. As a result, the pad locks in place on your horse’s back, allowing full range of motion. It provides added breathability and shock absorption for his protection and comfort. The SMx Air Ride core’s natural cooling system lowers your horse’s body temperature and slows his rate of fatigue.
Inside scoop: The SMx Air Ride core is made of a unique material found in artificial-turf fields, and the pad offers a choice between an all-natural felt or fleece bottom, which will keep your horse cool by wicking away sweat and moisture.
More info: $203.95; profchoice.com.
Cool Fit, Cool Fashion
The product: The Ultimate Riding Jean with Cool Vantage by Wrangler.
Details: These boot-cut jeans fit like the regular Ultimate Riding Jean, but keep you cool, dry, and comfortable. The breathable denim features exclusive sweat-control technology that wicks sweat five times faster, pulling moisture to the outside where it dries faster. The classic five-pocket styling with a mid-rise and a zipper fly and button closure makes them a familiar favorite. They also feature a no-gap waistband, flat seams, angled watch pocket, two front scoop pockets, and hip pockets with embroidery.
Inside scoop: These jeans are machine-washable, 11.75-ounce denim made from 75 percent cotton, 23 percent polyester, and 2 percent spandex. Choose from washes in medium blue and two shades of dark blue. These jeans offer advanced sizing options including a waist and inseam measurement, and run small compared to other Wrangler items. Choose a size up from what you typically order.
More info: $58.00; wrangler.com.
[READ ABOUT: Summer Style]
Cool, Misting Breezes
The product: Oscillating Fan #EZ 224-12-1075 by EZ-Cool Company, Inc.
Details: Keeping horses cool and comfortable while stabled is easier with this powerful, 24-inch fan. Mount it on one stall or between two for oscillating coverage. A nozzled ring emits a fine water-vapor mist into the airflow to bring temperatures down quickly. The fan uses a high-pressure evaporative cooling system, so bedding stays dry. The deep-shrouded housing helps throw more air in the intended direction for more efficient cooling.
Inside scoop: This fan has a 24-inch diameter, ½-horsepower motor, and a stainless-steel misting ring with five nozzles that operates from an attached pump system.
More info: Fans start at $799; misting kits start at $160; ez-cool.com.
Cool, Chic Coverage
The product: Ice Fil Full-Zip Jacket by Kerrits Performance Equestrian Apparel.
Details: A jacket in the heat? Yes! This jacket, made of Kerrits’ proprietary Ice Fil fabrics that offer sun protection, is the coolest around—it can cool your skin up to five degrees. Plus the sophisticated, heathered, moisture-wicking, breathable fabric has enough substance for a no-reveal appearance.
Inside scoop: This lightweight jacket is made from 30+UPF Ice Fil fabric to keep you cool while shielding you from the sun’s harmful rays. A full zipper allows you to put this jacket on or take it off without removing your hat or helmet. Sporty, colorful Kerrits logos down the sleeves and a hidden-inseam zip pocket on the right side are bonuses. Available in sizes XS through 2XL in graphite, bluestone, sorbet, and marina colors.
More info: $69.00; kerrits.com.
The product: Ariat Rebar Sunstopper.
Details: This work/play shirt offers an athletic cut designed to work hard. The durable Sunstopper has built-in sun protection, mesh panels for ventilation, and moisture-wicking properties to keep you drier. VentTEK technology features body mapping to enable airflow and regulate body temperature. Underarm gussets allow maximum range of motion, and stain-release technology helps for easy washing.
Inside scoop: You’ll appreciate the heavy-duty, reinforced chest pockets; a longer shirt tail to stay tucked in; Moisture Movement Technology that keeps you drier; and SPF finish for protection from ultraviolet rays. Choose from short-sleeve or long-sleeve styles, sizes S through 2XL, in brindle, navy, and lime colors.
More info: $34.95 for short-sleeve; $39.95 for long-sleeve; ariat.com.