Saturday, June 7, 2008

How Hot Is It?

Oh my, I don’t really need a heat wave. Today was actually cooler than it’s going to be tomorrow and Monday. Here we go, into the 100’s. I know that you guys know what I’m talking about, since we’re all blogging about the weather again. My poor horses are miserable. How are yours doing?

I was glad that I was able to be home enough today to hose them down with cool water every couple of hours. I rinsed them over the neck and the chest to bring down their body temperature. They just stood in front of the fan in Siete's stall almost all day. They drank a bit less water than usual, so I gave them some electrolytes in their dinner, also adding water to make it a soup. Silk really wanted me to close the doors to the stalls so she could go to sleep. Finally, the temperature dropped into the ‘80’s around 8:30, so I tucked her in. Siete went along with it because that’s the routine, and they both love routine. Silk hates night turn-out. When we were in Virginia, she used to pace the fence all night and lost so much weight. I give them a few hours in the early morning and again after dinner, but then it ‘s back to the barn for bed-time.

I’d appreciate it if anyone has any other good ideas about helping out the girls during the hot days ahead. We had some bad heat like this the first year that we moved here, and Siete almost colicked. I’m going to turn them out and muck tomorrow around 7 am before it gets really fierce. Today, I waited too long. They were okay, but I almost had heatstroke cleaning the barn and doing the chores.

We certainly experienced 100 degree weather when we lived in California, but it was so dry. This is more difficult, especially with the gnats. I did notice today that my little fly predators are doing a fantastic job this year. I took the fly masks off the horses late in the afternoon because they were sweating under them. The animals and people inside the house were hot too and a bit grumpy. We’ve only got one window air-conditioner in the family room, aka “the cool room”. It was working over-time today, along with all the fans. It reminded me of that line I think is from “The Great Gatsby”: “I’m p-p-paralyzed.” And the worst is yet to come.


Grey Horse Matters said...

This heat is unbelievable isn't it. I'm afraid I have no tips other than we turn out at night, but if your girls don't like that there's no use putting them out. We also have fans and hose them off and give them electrolytes. There really is not much else to do but grin and bear it. I know this is not going to break for a few days, we've just got to hang in there. It's a good idea to get things done early around the barn. Keep cool!

billie said...

Sounds like you're doing everything already! I have on occasion hosed the fly masks down with cold water and put them on wet. It depends on the horse as to whether they love this or hate it! If they hate it, I just take the mask off again. They dry out pretty fast esp. when it's this hot.

My best advice and what I try to do is just keep on top of things so nothing gets too far out - the fans, the hosings, the obsessive water cleaning, etc. If you can keep them from getting overheated, I think you're ahead of the game.

I'm hoping for a break for all of us dealing with this very soon!

Ewa said...

ow, ow, what a heat - we do not have it that much. Our temperatures oscilates about 25-29C, but no rain since 3 weeks. Becaus e it is early morning, I just run to water the garden instead of blogging :)

LJB said...

I wish you luck with your efforts! We must have enough of a breeze that I don't see my horses suffering. Yeah, at times they are sweating while standing still, but they eat and drink, more in the cooler hours, lots of resting during the hot hours. Same as me for the most part -- seeking shade, sipping water, moving slowly.

I'm trying a product called Calm Coat -- designed for dogs and horses -- an herbally oily substance that I put on the bug bite areas. It seems to help my horses who are most bothered by bugs. It amazes me that some of them come up with bug bite lumps and some have nothing!

Gecko said...

Soo sorry to hear how horrible the weather is over there at the moment. We've just hit winter now and it's the opposite now. Time to start getting worried-up on my old girl's arthritis! *groan* It never stops does it!

the7msn said...

Temps in the 100s with all that humidity and gnats...sounds like horse hell to me. I hope the heat wave gets the heck out of there soon. 100 in New Mexico is certainly hot, but as long as the horses–and people–have shade, we all do just fine.

Since it's the evaporation of water off the horse's body that helps to cool them, I've always found that using a horse squeegee or sweat scraper to remove most of the water after I hose them down helps them to cool off faster.

Callie said...

Gads, That sounds oppressive! It's been in the 80s here and humid and storming several times a day!

Janet Roper said...

Sounds like you're on top of things. I much prefer the MN cold than the heat and humidity. Good luck.

Bill Evertson said...

Back in the day when I spent summers on Grandmas ranch in Nebraska 100 degrees was the norm. But here in the east we have to deal with humidity. The 7msn suggestions are old fashioned but that is what we used to do and our horses did better than us humans that care for them. Best, Bill

Rising Rainbow said...

Here it's abnormally cool. There's even snow falling in the mountains. I could do with a little heat......but not as much as you're getting. I really feel for all of you and your horses.

djbrown said...

You probably know all about this (and it sadly has been years since I worked a barn) but I found quiet music a welcome and relaxing distraction for the weather demons.
It will soon pass.

Carolynn said...

In addition to what you're already doing, and the suggestions others have given, would it be feasible to set up a lawn sprinkler in or near the paddock, so your girls can cool off under the water when they want to? It may be too unusual a set up for them to accept.

Best of luck to you all. A little warmer weather would be most welcome here where I am in the Pacific Northwest. It feels eerily like November weather with cold temperatures, gloomy skies and rain.