Summer time horse photos
I was out yesterday morning in search of a summer time horse photo shoot in Prescott, Arizona. It’s the end of July and it’s HOT. Not scorching hot like desert. Prescott is a mile high so our hot is about 90 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also the start of monsoon season which means it can get humid and muggy as well. I was standing in a pasture with a small herd of horses and it seemed like a barren wasteland. The sun was beating down on us, the storm clouds were forming way off in the eastern skies and there was no water anywhere. They did have their drinking trough but there was no place for them to walk in a cool off. I wondered how hot horses must get in the summer time?
Hot horses in summer
According to an Equus Magazine article “Unlike dogs and most other animals, horses have sweat glands throughout their skin. Sweating creates “evaporative cooling”—as water changes from a liquid to a gas, it absorbs energy from its surroundings. In this case, that energy is in the form of heat from the skin and the air just above, leaving it cooler. ”
Horses make use of their tails to swish all the flies away, they roll on the ground to create a layer of dirt to keep them cooler and to create a barrier from the flies. Horses also tend to stand close together but in opposite directions so they can use their tails in unison with their fellow horses to swish the flies away.
The photo here is of a horse receiving water therapy after an injury. The RT Arrow Ranch in Cornville provides a great location for horse rehabilitation.
Using water to cool down the horses during summer time
Lakes, rivers, back yard hoses and even the ocean are great ways for horses to get in a swim and cool themselves down during hot summer weather. I had the opportunity to photograph horses in a variety of these scenarios.
The Hassayampa River runs through parts of Wickenburg, Arizona and these horses managed to find enough water to make some splashing. This photo shoot was during a stay at the Lazy J Dude Ranch in Wickenburg, which unfortunately has closed. A group of photographers spent three days in the desert photographing horses and cowboys around the ranch.
Working horses do need a chance to cool down and catch a drink. On a recent photo shoot with Broken Horn D Ranch during a round up and branding, Kim and Dave gathered their horses around the large water trough and allowed them a chance to drink. This also allowed the two of them to create their strategy on the next step in the sorting of cattle.
Summer time Horse photos on the beach
My favorite summer time horse photos so far are definitely with Xander and Thor and their owner, Ashley Morgan Rhodes on the beach in Florence, Oregon. It was definitely not hot in July on the coast of Oregon, but they enjoyed the water anyway.
Summer time horse photos gone wild
Another really fun summer time horse photo shoot was at the Salt River with the Salt River wild horses near Mesa, Arizona.
These wild horses migrate back and forth across the Salt River and enjoy their time keeping cool by the waters edge.
Summer time horse photos in Colorado
Another great horse photo shoot was in the mountains of Colorado with Ginger Kathrens. of the Cloud Foundation.
Ginger and several others rode their horses through the mountainous trails and stopped at various lakes and rivers and creeks to give the horses a chance to cool down and take a drink.
For more summer time horse photos, check out my website below and be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook for the latest news.
Jody Miller is a professional photographer specializing in Horse Photography, Equine Photography, and Equestrian photography. Her work can be viewed online here in her gallery section, and she is also featured at these Arizona Galleries: Van Gogh’s Ear Gallery on Whiskey Row in Prescott, AZ, Hart of AZ Gallery in Cottonwood and Coops Coffee House at Talking Rock Ranch.