Hot Summer Horse Show Must-Haves

The word “hot” in the title of this post in no way refers to “good looking or attractive.” Nope. Not today. The word “hot” refers to searing temperatures that love to permeate horse shows in the summer. (And all other outdoor summer sports for that matter!) Keeping cool on the hottest of horse show days is a SERIOUS chore. Check out our top must haves for those shows when the real feel temp is “inferno.”

Last year I wrote a post with a bunch of different ideas for how to keep cool at a summer horse show. Definitely give that one a read when you’re finished here.

Tips for Hot Horse Show Days

Having just returned from a hotter-than-hot and humid week of July horse showing in Tryon, NC, I knew another post with tips for staying cool was in order. This post will focus on actual products that we decided were must-haves to survive those long, hot days.

What kind of heat are we talking about? Well, on the hottest day that we had kids competing at the show the real feel temperature was 115 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s pretty hot. Then when you take into account the riders are wearing long pants, shirts and helmets, plus physically exerting themselves… the need was great to employ any cooling techniques we could think of. Every day that we were showing, the judges ended up excusing jackets. That definitely helped, but conditions were still heat-exhaustion-level hot and oppressive. We stayed very aware of the need to hydrate both kids AND horses.

Beat the Heat with These Must-Haves

Here’s our list of the most helpful products we have used over the years to cool down during hot show days. We suggest picking up a combination of items to add to your horse show bag!

Why We Choose These Items

Neck Fan

This was, admittedly, the item that surprised me the most. When someone from our farm dropped a link to this portable battery-operated neck fan in our group chat, I thought it looked pretty silly. I doubted that it would make much of a difference.

WELL. I TAKE BACK THOSE THOUGHTS!! This neck fan was my #1 favorite possession each and every day that we sweated by the riding ring. I love it. It came with a USB charging cord and each night when we returned to our camper, I plugged it in to charge for the next day. Two thumbs WAY up for this one.

neck fan

Water Sprayer with Fan

These fans are handy, effective at cooling, pretty cheap, and the kids always seem to have fun using them! We picked up these fans years ago before a trip to Disney. They are stored in our camper and definitely saw a lot of use during our last horse show!

fan and water sprayer

Insulated Water Bottles and Tumblers + Biosteel or Liquid I.V. packets

Hydration is key when you are outside for any length of time in the height of summer’s heat. Always have water on hand to drink. I recommend having insulated water bottles or tumblers to keep your water nice and cool. Adding some flavor with electrolytes to rehydrate is easier than ever with drink packets like Biosteel or Liquid I.V.

tumblers biosteel liquid iv

Floppy Hat

Head to any horse show, golf course, or beach during the summer and you are guaranteed to spot some big floppy straw hats. These hats serve a serious purpose: they keep the sun off your head AND block a good portion of the back of your neck from sun rays.

Sometimes you can find these hats in a shop at the horse show, but you will likely pay a premium for it. Best bet is to look for a hat before you head to the show.

Sun hat

Cooling Vest

These vests are definitely a funny sight to see, but incredibly effective for beating the heat. There are a a few different styles of these vests, but a popular one is a lightweight vest that is covered in pockets. The vest comes with small ice packs that you store in your freezer. When you are in need of a cool down, pop the frozen ice packs into the vest pockets and put the vest on. Instant cooling around your core!

Cooling Towels

I really don’t understand how these towels work, LOL, but they do. These lightweight mesh microfiber towels turn into instant cooling relief on hot days. You simply dump some water on the towel and then wring out the towel. Place the towel around the back of your neck (or wherever you prefer, really) for a unique cooling effect.

They are reusable and can be used over and over again. I picked up a 4 pack of towels and it included a ziploc storage pouch and carabiner hook for each towel.

cooling neck towels

Evian refreshing water mist spray

We discovered this spray on a cruise a few years ago. As we cruised through the tropics, the weather was so hot and swampy. The concierge lounge had baskets on the sundeck filled with sunscreen and yes, this Evian Facial Spray. You might not think that a little water in a misting bottle could feel so refreshing, but let me assure you: this stuff feels HEAVENLY.

At our last show, I was walking up and down the barn aisle giving free spritzes to anyone interested. This is a simple and easy way to get a little relief when the sun is baking!

Evian Facial Spray

That’s our list!

I hope you found some helpful items that will work for you and your crew. The best horse shows are the shows where you feel prepared for whatever comes your way. We are always packing and repacking our horse show survival kit with different handy helpers that we learn about from others.

Be sure to take a look at our other horse show posts while you’re here!

Do you have another must-have for hot horse show relief that we didn’t mention? Drop us a comment and tell us about it!


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