Now, I happen to LIKE summers in Texas, but I can only handle it up until around 105. My ideal is around 95. I know, right now my friends are thinking "she's nuts"... but I swear it's because I'm part lizard.
At any rate, last Friday was my birthday, and I had these wonderful plans for a nice and lazy summer day. Sadly, the summer weather defeated me.
Leah's darling and very delicate grey flower, know that if he's weird, it's just going to get worse. I checked his vitals, and they said he was fine, but he was just not right. Jaz was laying down, but not rolling, yet getting up when I walked to him. Maybe it was just nap time. Then he had little interest in his lunch. He wasn't really crazy about the water, or the orange gatoraid I offered him. Hmm. Nothing truly WRONG, just a lot of almost wrong things.
So, Jaz got cold hosed, and put behind fans. He perked up, but still wasn't normal. I let Leah know, and she went out and got him his favourite gatoraid, and a couple more fans. With 2 fans on him, he was much better the morning after.
So, he gets hosed, and a stall across from Jaz, with a fan of his own. A few hours later he appeared to be doing well. Both boys now were getting soaked beet pulp with salt (before I had been skipping the soaking part) and soaked grain at dinner time. That was about 3 gallons of water just on the "food" plus "cool" water to drink. I think much of the problem is that the water from the horse comes out tepid at best, and often warm. The pipes are running through sand that is at least 110, and probably more like 115 degrees!
We are in the barn around 8am watering. The "special needs" horses get a complete feed soaked, with mineral salts. About 2 hours later, they get checked again, and get beet pulp with gatoraid. By this time they have also drank about 3 gallons of clean water as well, and it's hot. So, they get hosed off, and put back behind fans. Repeat that every 2 hours until the sun goes down around 9pm. Ok, they only get the beet pulp at meal times, but they are offered gatoraid all day long, as well as water and salt. They aren't getting any turn out, but it's not like that's a big deal. It's HOT out there, and all the herd is standing under the trees, not moving. There's nothing to graze, and the special needs horses are very happy behind their fans. I let them roam around the yard at night when I clean stalls, but that's about all they need. Even then, they walk out of the barn, to the yard, graze on the grass there (which is only growing because I hose the horses off on it!) and have NO problems coming back inside.
Normally, August is my favorite time of year. I love the sound of the cicadas in the trees, the weather feels as cozy as sitting in front of a camp fire, and there's so little expectation to get work done that it always seem to be a bit calmer. This year, I'm SO ready for it to be over.
We haven't had rain in months (unless you count the stuff that dries as it hits the ground). I have NO pasture left at all. We can't seem to find hay for a decent price either! I just went to the feed store to buy some hay the other day, only to find that it had gone up $2.00 per bale, but my bales went from 75 pounds down to 50. And this hay is NOT all that pretty. It's clean, but it's DRY. I'm upping the alternate forages (more beet pulp for all) and they are already on a complete feed, so I'm really not all that stressed about it, but I would like to have a useable pasture again.
A few weeks ago we went riding in one of my paddocks. Leah and I made a lap, and decided to head back to the arena! The cracks in the pasture are now inches wide. We have one behind the house that is like a fault like, it runs almost 100 feet, and there's no visible bottom. Ok, it's about 2 inches wide, but still... this is sandy loam we're talking about!
So if you happen to see some of this, would you send it my way?