Thankfully most of these very hot days on November Hill have been accompanied by a breeze. Some days the breeze is cool, others it is simply warm air blowing, but it does help, and if I wet the horses down, scrape them off, and let them stand in the breeze they seem to feel so much better. The same holds true for humans. Even Rafer Johnson has stepped into the spray a few times at this point, and we all know donkeys don't generally like baths!
I've been making sure the water in their troughs and buckets is clean and fresh, I offer hosings at least once a day but sometimes twice, and I've been feeding wet hay to get more moisture into them. Late afternoon a favorite thing is to serve their daily ration of Chaffehay sopping wet. They love that and it's so easy to do.
If any of the horses seem really hot I hose down their fly masks with cold well water, squeeze out the excess, and put the fly masks on them. The fans in the barn and/or the breeze on the hill helps to cool them down. I got this idea years ago when I discovered that a cold wet cloth on my head and under my hat in the summer makes a huge difference in my own comfort level in high heat. I don't do it every day but save it for extreme days when I know I have to be out longer than is comfortable for me. They seem to like it too.
Anotther issue we've had this summer is Cody's sheath swelling. Keil Bay had this a couple of years ago and I determined the swelling came initially from a tick bite and then "dropped" to the lowest point, which was the sheath. Add in hot weather, less movement, and it can get worse.
I developed a protocol for Cody which has worked really well. We instituted cold hosing and 5 minutes of easy walking in the shade 3x/day. I also alternated the homeopathic remedies Rhus Tox and Silicea, at first one in the AM and the other in the PM for 5 days, then notched back to alternating them in the mornings for another 3 days. The swelling became much better after I started the remedies and he's a lot more comfortable.
When I choose homeopathic remedies for horses I use my Miranda Castro homeopathy book as well as George MacLeod's book The Treatment of Horses By Homeopathy. It's a terrific resource and makes it easy to narrow down the remedies that might be useful. In classical homeopathy it's very important to choose the right remedy for the individual person or animal. Sometimes if I narrow down to a couple of remedies I'll alternate both to get a quick response. In this case I think the two worked well but it's generally best to get the one best remedy to get the very best results.
It looks like we'll get a break in this high heat on the weekend. One day's high is predicted to be 79-80 degrees and I feel like that's going to feel like heaven after these very hot, stifling days! Last night on the weather radar something went wrong and it said the low was going to be 32 degrees. I have never wished for freezing temps more! That would have been like nature turning on the AC for all of us.
I hope everyone is weathering your own versions of summertime blues!