By Paige Brandon
Photos via Amy Witt on Instagram
As we all know a cowgirl’s job never ends, even when summer comes around. We all know that summer brings longer days and more heat. It is important to stay safe in the sun while working.
- Eat salty foods. Salty foods can make you thirsty and protect you from dehydration.
- Wear a pearl snap over your shirt. Keeping covered protects you from the sunshine and helps you to stay covered and cool.
- Wear a hat. Protect your face, ears and neck from being sunburned. Most melanomas in the future take place on your face and your ears.
- Wear sunscreen. An obvious solution to staying safe in the sun is to wear sunscreen. Be sure to read the instructions and reapply when necessary.
- Drink water. The second obvious protection while working in teh sun is to drink water. However, if you are sweating faster than you are drinking, you need to drink fluids with added electrolytes. In certain circumstances, drinking water is not enough to keep you hydrated. Coconut water, water with added electrolytes and gatorade are all drinks that can help.
- Eat foods that have lots of water. Foods that are rich in water help to hydrate you on top of your water intake. Some of these foods include fruits and vegetables, like cucumbers, iceberg lettuce, strawberries, etc. Also, allow your horse to graze while on long trail rides during the summer. Their body uses the water from the plants when they are unable to drink.
- Wear sunglasses. Your eyes can become sunburn, which can lead to melanoma in the eyes. Sunglasses prevent this.
- Start early in the morning and finish late in the afternoon. Start your project in the early morning before it gets too hot, then relax during the afternoon and finish it in the evening. In New Mexico, we take ciestas (afternoon naps) in between our work.
- Hydrate efficiently beforehand. If you know your are going to be busy working and are not going to be drinking as much as you should, take the above precautions, while also hydrating efficiently beforehand. Also, drink lots of water afterwards and pack a lunch that is high in foods with lots of water in them.
- Take care of yourself. The minute you begin to feel woozy, sick, start to ache, etc. take a break. Go inside or go to a cool spot with shade, sit down, drink a glass of water and give yourself a break. Keep yourself from being overheated by not overexerting yourself.