Stay Cool

Let me tell you one of the many reasons why I hate Texas: it’s stupid hot for like 6 months of the year. With all the rain we’ve had this year it’s stayed cooler than most summers, in that we actually managed to make it this far without hitting triple digits. That’s supposed to change tomorrow, with a high of 100.

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The “feels like” has been getting over 100 pretty regularly for a few weeks now

The rain has made it a bit more humid than normal, too (for example, right now – 88% humidity). Normally in the summer I switch my schedule and ride in the morning instead, but that just hasn’t worked out this year. We had a lot of big changes at work and right now I really can’t be coming in at 9am when the rest of my team is there at 6:30. Plus I have a meeting every morning at 8:30. It was a bit easier when my barn commute was 20 minutes and didn’t go through heavy traffic… if I tried to do that now, it would take me a minimum of an hour to get to work from the new barn. Trying to ride later at night, when the heat wanes, its also challenging, considering it doesn’t really get better until 8pm and crawling into bed at midnight doesn’t really work when I crawl back out of it at 5am. I am not a great sleeper, so 5-6 hours in bed would result in maybe 3-4 hours sleep. Not doable.

We have similar feelings about the weather

I also handle the heat about as well as my horse does, ie not well at all. Honestly Henry has been doing better with these hot afternoon rides than I have. He’s pretty much cooled down once I hose him off, while I’m still sitting there in a chair in front of the fan trying not to pass out. I’m taking walk breaks while I’m riding, I’m drinking water (I went through 4 bottles yesterday at the barn), but I’m just plain getting overheated. Because it’s hot AF.

Presto doing his part to remind you to stay hydrated

I’m about to start investigating those cooling towels or weird ice neck bandanna things. Anything to help get my temperature under control. Anyone use anything like that? I just don’t have access to a refrigerator or freezer at the barn. Luckily I don’t have to do this for much longer since we leave for Coconino in two weeks (where the highs are in the 70’s, lows are in the 40’s, and there’s 15% humidity – BLESS THAT PLACE) and then Henry will be on his easy vacation schedule for a little while after that, and then I’ll be gone to Europe for a couple weeks after that.  For now though, I’m just trying not to pass out in the barn. I must look terrible given how fast the barn owner ran to get me a chair yesterday.

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Boops from the chair

In other news, Presto has decided to get either a hoof bruise or an abscess THE DAY AFTER I sent in his entry for the FEH class this weekend, so we’ll see if we can get that fixed in time or not. The vet looked at him last night (real convenient to be boarding at the vet’s house when you’re a crazy person that likes to completely freak out and overreact about your horses’ maladies, btw) and it’s definitely something in his foot, just couldn’t tell exactly what. Considering that it’s been wet and he spends all night stuffing himself in front of the round bale, the muddiest spot on the farm, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was brewing something. We wrapped it up with animalintex so now we wait and see. Horses, man.

26 thoughts on “Stay Cool

  1. Search for theoriginalpolarproducts. The website looks super old, but the company is amazing and their products work magic. Buy an insulated cup and fill it with cold water and put them in there after you prep them at home and they come out like ice, no refridgeration required. I use the neck ties, the wrist cuffs, and the boob inserts in Florida and my husband uses the hardhat liners and neck ties for his 10hr days outside power plant job. Makes a world of difference.

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  2. It’s crazy to me how hot it’s been in Austin this spring. Fort Worth isn’t that far north, but we have had a positively delightful spring! There have been maybe 5 days of miserable heat with humidity (more to come tomorrow and Friday, sad face), but overall it has maxed out in the high 80s. Usually I’m ecstatic to run away to Montana during the spring/summer, but this year Texas had better weather in May. Thank you snow storm in Montana the weekend before Memorial Day.

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    1. Yes, those cooling towels are da bomb!! I got a few pretty cheap here in Germany and I love,love, love these things. They work so amazingly well!
      I hope they’ll bring you some relief.
      Jingling for Presto!!

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  3. The froggy towels work amazing. Dip in cool water, ring out and then bliss out in freezing coldness around your neck for hours. Not expensive and they sell them at Academy Sports if you have one of those in TX.

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  4. I have a few of those cooling towels, and I love them! You don’t need to put them in the freezer or fridge, just need access to water at the barn. Last night I wetted it down, wrung out the excess water and draped it around my neck. It definitely helped in this crazy hot Louisiana heat and humidity!

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  5. I wasn’t that impressed with the knock off cooling neck and wrist wraps I have, so I’d say this may be one of those areas to splurge. They do work but found about the time I was huffing in a lesson, they were losing their cooling. The nice thing was being able to go hose them off and refresh them.

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  6. I have the froggy towels and LOVE them! After one of my half marathons they were handing out towels that were more cotton like that you just need to wet and snap to “activate” the cooling effect. It was a perfect size for draping over your neck. I’ll have to check to see what brand they are.

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  7. I live in central Florida and the humidity has been disgusting the last few weeks. To survive my rides, I find I have more endurance when I remember to ‘pre-hydrate’. Which, for me means, downing electrolyte water on my 25 minute drive to the barn; of course, that means I have to hit the potty as soon as I arrive. I have tried most of the so-called ‘cooling’ items and they do not stay cool long enough to be worth it. It is just as effective to wet your technical riding shirt just before you get on your horse. Also, wearing a wet bandana around your neck helps and costs nothing. Just re- wet halfway through your ride.

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  8. First time commenter. It may sound crazy and I know you love those cute sunshirts but a COTTON T-SHIRT (or long sleeve) soaked in water just might save you. You need evaporation for cooling and those tech shirts do not hold water. Here is a link to a completely hilarious ultra marathon race report that describes this technique. It’s called “Running Like a Porn Star” if you need some added incentive to take a look. 🙂

    https://www.irunfar.com/2013/07/pam-smiths-2013-western-states-100-race-report.html

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  9. Uuuggghhh. I do not envy you! That heat sounds like misery.

    Sara brought me a Chilly Pad towel by Frog Togg for the Old Dominion 100 in 2016. It basically saved my life. We had temps in the mid-90s all day and I basically cuddled that tiny towel with my face and neck from 10am-dark. I wilt in the heat and suffer heat-related illnesses multiple times a summer if I am not 110% ON IT managing myself. Highly recommend the towel to help with your survival of TX summer!

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  10. Thirding Original Polar Products, especially the neck things. They’re magic and I’m not sure why they work betterthan the knock offs, but they do.

    When I was teaching dock diving a few years ago (no shade, outdoors for a couple hours in the afternoon from June-September several days a week), I found that a cheap large thermos full of ice water and bandanas was a huge help- I just swapped them out when they got clammy instead of cool and nice. The only thing that was difficult was catching other people before they tried to fill water cups from that thermos, even though it was labeled DO NOT DRINK right on the front….)

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  11. Try an auto chamois, the ones that come in a tube, fill tube with ice water. Worked in a greenhouse, always draped one around my neck.

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  12. I’m writing all of these down. I overheat like it’s my job, which I blame on 18 years of living in 0 humidity. The other thing I’ve found is using Liquid IV or LyteShow drops in my water I drink beforehand. I try to drink 80 oz of water at work and on days I’m going to the barn, I add those in. They saved me during event camp last year.

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  13. I used to be completely USELESS in the heat. I’m not much better now, but have at least stopped passing the F out all the time. I started using NUUN tablets like they were a daily vitamin, and it made a seriously huge difference. Apparently sweating out all your salt and potassium runs in my family, who knew. Well, actually my body did. I guess that’s why I feel like deer reincarnated every time I see a salt block. Slurp.

    Anyway. Good luck with all that. I went for a run Tuesday when it was 80 degrees with (not fuckin kidding) 97% humidity. Thought I was gonna die, but didn’t. I wish you the same luck.

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