As the temperatures soar this summer, I’m spending much more time in my day with my horses, trying to keep them cool so the heat doesn’t cause them to be too miserable or get sick. I’m grateful that I can carve out these short interludes to be with them and that they are right outside my back door. It’s obvious that the horses are also very happy that I can act as their personal cooling agent. How often does that happen? Lucky girls!
Silk likes to stand in Siete’s stall next to the fan with the water buckets right under her nose. Every couple of hours, I drop in to lightly spray both horses with the hose to cool them down. Yesterday, I sprayed my arm too and feeling the delightful coolness of the fan blowing on my wet skin, I just turned the hose on myself and got soaked. Then, Silk and I spent about fifteen minutes standing absolutely still together in front of the fan.
The absolutely still part is important too. Standing without motion is something that I notice the horses do when it is very hot and they want to conserve their energy. Alone, I would have begun to fidget, but with Silk to show me how to do it effortlessly, I was totally content to rest next to her.
This morning, I asked myself, if I were a horse, what would I need to be comfortable today? Fly masks, non-toxic spray to make me not taste good to insects, cool water, and tasty hay and other interesting things to eat like grass and carrots are at the top of the list. We are down to the very end of our second cut hay, counting the days until the new second cutting is baled and ready. I was able to score nine very nice, clover laced bales to get us through this week until the fresh stuff is available next Sunday. The girls are so pleased, murmuring “Nmm, nmm!” loudly as I approach with more flakes. I also make a “tea” for Siete, adding a little molasses and sweet feed to the bucket. She’s not a big water drinker, so it keeps her hydrated when it’s this hot.
It seems like things aren’t going to cool down for another four or five days. To my surprise, I didn’t feel discouraged by that news. It sure beats trudging out to the barn in two feet of snow. “Don’t worry, girls, we got this one covered,” I told them last night. “Nmm, nmm!”