How to manage heat and humidity in the Olympics

Por Horse TV
NEWS | Olimpics

With the characteristic hot and humid conditions from Japan, it is important for riders to prepare accordingly to ensure the safeguarding of their horses before the horse riding sporting events in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. 

FEI has prepared this quick video on the heat and humidity risk management for the upcoming Olympics that narrows down what we can expect to find in the Tokyo installations. 

Weather forecasts

According to Japan Meteorological Agency, temperatures will be normal or a bit higher than normal, however by the time the equestrian events will take place in late July and August, sunny days are expected to be common as in a normal year. 

Also, June and July will have high humidity as there are more cloudy and rainy days expected. During this period, precipitation will be normal or a bit wetter than normal. 

On average, from June to mid-September Japan’s temperatures range from 21 to 32ºC and July and August are the hottest and most humid times of the year. Humidity levels range from 78% to 83% during July and August. 

How to prepare at home 

In order to help horses adapt to heat acclimatisation there are five tips we can use:

  • Train with your horse during the hottest part of the day 4-6 times a week before departure. This way, they will not struggle as much during the Tokyo Olympics when temperatures rise. 
  • Use horse rugs during shorter sessions. Make sure these are made from breathable materials to prepare horses safely for the extreme heat. 
  • Train using a treadmill in a heated environment 3-4 times per week.
  • Avoid training for a longer amount of time as this increases the risk of injuries and it will reduce the performance of both rider and horse. 
  • If it is possible, travel to a more humid and hot environment 2 weeks prior to the competition to make it easier for the horse to adapt to the daily temperatures. This will avoid a heat stroke during the competition. 

Moreover, appropriate nutrition and hydration is key for horses that will have to adapt to heat and humidity in the Olympics. Avoid changes to their diet at least 4 to 6 weeks before travelling. Also, make sure to provide unlimited access to water and supplement this with electrolytes

Lastly, cooling techniques include preventing your horse from getting too hot during training by noticing symptoms such as unsteadiness, increased panting or breathing as well as visible blood vessels. When this happens, make sure they can cool off in a shaded area and cover the sides of the horse with plenty of water and combine this with walking every 30 seconds. 

Beat the Heat

The Japanese heat has led FEI to create a playlist to inform all riders on how to compete safely in this hot and humid climate. It includes a collection of 8 episodes that help us discover the impact heat and humidity has on horse and rider, how it affects performance, training, food and daily routines and how to recognise heat related illness symptoms. 

Did you find this article useful? If so, write us a comment on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to let us know! 

Related news
Advertising Companies
Content Companies
Media Companies
Technology Companies