Thursday, June 18, 2009

beating the heat on November Hill

Forecast is for 97 today and tomorrow, and knowing the way it seems to work here, the temps will actually be higher by about 4 p.m.

Here's what we're doing to beat the heat:

Ride at night - daughter was out in the arena last night at 10:45 p.m., riding dressage tests on her pony.

Spritz with cold water in a spray bottle. Or take a bucket of cold water and sponge the horses off.

Offer cold hosings during the hottest part of the day. Sometimes I just wait for these hot, hot days to give full baths, since we give them in the shade of the big oak tree in the small barnyard. I end up getting as wet as the horses, and they get clean AND cool at the same time.

Up the loose salt in the feed.

Mix up buckets of Apple A Day electrolyte water for each paddock.

Dampen the fly masks with cool water - some horses like it, some don't.

Hose down the hay in the nets with cold water and let them eat it wet. It's closer to fresh grass in moisture content, and it's cooling.

Turn on the fans, keep the sun out of the barn, and let them go in and out as they feel like it.

Fill up the Corgi pool and play diving for hot dogs. (we learned this game from the annual Corgi picnic we've managed to get to one time!)

Hose down cap with cold water to keep head cool.

Be anal about pulling shades on the sunny side of the house. It's amazing how well this works to keep the house cool.

Anticipate the big sweaty chores and do them before the heat hits. We did shavings two days ago to avoid doing that particular chore on these hottest days.

Would love to hear more suggestions if you have them! Thankfully we'll be back to high 80s/low 90s by Sunday.


MitMoi said...

(okay I have no pets, so keep that in mind when you read this)

Sit very, very still. Sip Scotch on the Rock. At dinner time - walk very slowly to the liquor cabinet and replenish drink. Repeat until heat dissipates (or bedtime arrives)!

billie said...

LOL! I could do that AFTER the last horse chore. :)

Janet Roper said...

Hi billie,
Ugh, it hasn't been that hot here yet, but you've given me a preview of what will be coming! Neither Shiloh nor I do well in heat as you're describing, so it's a good thing we deal more with cold than heat up here in MN!
Janet & Shiloh

Grey Horse Matters said...

Seems like you've got a good plan. I might add some nice homemade lemonade in a tall glass pitcher with ice and sit on the porch sipping slowly. Can't believe it's that hot already. We're only in the 70's here.

billie said...

Arlene, I've been drinking unsweetened peppermint tea, as it seems to quench the thirst for me.

And then white wine.


billie said...

Hi, Janet!

I hope you don't get this hot up there. We are now looking at 99-100 for tomorrow, but then we're back to a more normal week.

jme said...

wow, i feel kind of bad that i've been complaining about the heat here :-\ we don't have it half as bad as you... i don't have anything to add except that we like to sponge off hot ponies with vetrolin or refreshmint baths, as they seem to be very cooling, especially after work... i'll certainly be borrowing some of your strategies in the hot days to come!

billie said...

well, jme, it's all relative. The first year we had Keil Bay and Apache Moon, they were boarded, and the temps went up to 107 or so. It was hideously, miserably hot. That barn had NO shade either.

Two years ago (I think it was two?) we had that level of heat here. It was pretty stifling, but with our shade, it was so much more bearable for the time it lasted.

I got an email late last night requesting scribes for a big dressage show that's going on today and tomorrow, and I thought, you've GOT to be kidding! I wouldn't take my horse in this heat, nor would I scribe so other horses have to ride in it.