It is 102 degrees outside!

So as I mentioned before, summer is NOT Gennyral’s time to shine. That being said I think that everyone would agree my spoiled horse is not having too bad a time of it. I go up twice a day to hose him off, I am looking in to buying him his very own mister, he is on night turnout so he doesn’t have to worry about the sun, he has a fan in his stall, he has a window in his stall, and the barn was done with an open layout including high ceilings, bars on top instead of a solid wall to the stalls, and windows in the top of the barn as well for maximum air circulation.  Even though my precious pony can still get sweaty, I don’t think he is doing that bad for it being triple digits with high humidity.

The point of this post is because maybe, and I know it is a small chance, but maybe I am a little too neurotic about the heat when it comes to horses. I know my blogging buddies from down south are dealing with 115 and 100% humidity and here I am all worried about my boy in 102. I mean, just the thought of this heat streak sent me looking for farms in Canada :P. Anyway the reason I brought this up is because I noticed that a LOT of people have their horses OUTSIDE with no access to SHADE!

Am I just totally jaded because my horse is a total prince? Or as he thinks “The King”…

I would NEVER leave a horse outside all day with shelter in weather like this! I understand horses who live outside staying outside, but at least horses who live outside have run in sheds in my area. The horses I am seeing at a variety of barns have NOTHING! And it is making me angry.

Having water outside is not enough in 102 degrees. At least it is not enough to me. Especially because I bet the water is hot at this point.

So am I being a snotty horse owner? Do you think it is okay to have horses outside all day in hot and humid temps with no shade or shelter? Are my expectations too high? I know I have a friend who always yells at me that horses are wild animals and don’t need the white glove treatment. I can’t help myself though! My pony deserves royal treatment and I don’t feel like not being out in the heat of the day is anything special…just normal. Am I wrong?

11 thoughts on “It is 102 degrees outside!

  1. Shade is an absolute must. I’m surprised your ACO doesn’t have a problem with no shelter/shade.

    One thing I’ve learned over the years is that horses acclimate to their environments. If you switched a Florida horse with an Alaska horse without accommodations they’d be miserable! Yet given time and a little human help to adjust, they will. So while southern horses may be used to 100 degrees and 100 humidity, your sweet boy isn’t. You’re doing the right thing. 🙂 Weird weather changes can lead to colic too, so I like to give a bran mash with changes like this and some electrolytes may not be a bad idea either.

  2. I think it depends on the horse. Stanley’s pasture has “some” shade and plenty of cool, fresh water. However, he never stands in the shade no matter how hot it is and how many other horses are huddled over there, and in general, doesn’t want to come in out of the sun either. While the other horses line up at the gate at dinner time, he takes off to the back of the pasture wanting to stay out on the hottest days.

    My arthritic husband says he golfs best on these hot and humid days because he feels looser. Maybe the same is true for some horses? Stanley is down-right frisky on these days!

  3. I believe it’s actually illegal here (AZ) to not have a shelter for your horse. The horse knows if it’s ok to stay in the sun, but you need to let the horse make that choice, not force it!

    My horse enjoys taking naps sprawled across the sunny side of his pen in the hottest part of the day, but spends most of his time in the shade.

  4. Reveille has shade in her pasture, though she doesn’t have a shelter. I wish we did have larger shelters in the pastures here, but the fact that she does at least have shade is enough to make me not freak out. If I had the money to give the barn owners, I would do it and ask for shelters. 🙂

    So no, you’re not being an over-picky horse owner. Horses might be wild animals, but we owe it to them to make them as comfortable as we can and to offer them options for comfort. They give us so much — the least we can do is make sure they’re happy, healthy, and comfortable.

  5. My horses lives on 40+ acres of pasture. There is a lot of natural shelter (which they use ALL THE TIME) and a huge man made shelter. The water is refilled multiple times a day.

    FYI – I live in Canada, and with humidity, the weather is 43 Celsius, or for all you Americans, that’s equivalent to 110F!!!
    You may want to wait until winter to move 😉

  6. I’ve treated multiple dogs today for heat stress. They were inside with no A/C. If you aren’t used to it this heat can be deadly. So spoil him all you want.

  7. I agree..shade offering is a MUST. Laz has access to his stall (shaded and w/ fan) and in his grazing area he has a lean to, which he NEVER uses…kills me. But his choice.
    I’m doing a lot of rinsing/scraping cold hosing lately trying to keep him coooooool.
    It’s 95 here and 100% humidity….yuck.

  8. If my gelding is outside hes not going to waste his grazing time in the shelter or shade, hes going to be eating. My filly, on the other hand, will stand in the shelter because there are less flies in it. Shes the spoiled one.

  9. I don’t think you’re crazy at all. Even with his fans and cold hosing, poor Tucker has been miserable this week. I haven’t ridden of course and I don’t think anyone else at my barn has. Between the flies and the heat, I can’t imagine leaving a horse out with no shelter in weather like this. Then again, I probably would fit into the snotty horse owner with the pampered prince of a gelding category too….

  10. I think you are right to be worried about horses in the heat. Gen is lucky that he is in during the day. My barn won’t do that for some lame reason.

    Don’t bother looking at farms in my part of Canada (and the entire province, really) because like Claire said it is 43C (110F) or so with 100% humidity. Totally gross and almost impossible to do anything outside.

    Hope you and Gen don’t melt!

  11. My horse is out 24/7 and has access to a stall with a fan at all times. He does go under the one tree to take a nap, but other than that he chooses to be out in the sun eating grass the rest of the time. The only time he is in the stall is when the bugs are out. I do feed electrolytes am and pm because he has stopped sweating before (very scary). He also gets rinsed off every night to get the sweat off.

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