According to our thermometer, we hit 104 degrees yesterday, in the shade. Everything is dying or dead. The trees are giving up and dropping their leaves, our lawn makes a crunching sound as we walk over it and our horses are draining the water bucket at a record pace. It’s hot and everything outside is miserable. I feel bad for our horses because they’re black and they stand out in the sun for a good portion of the day. I mentioned a few days ago that Moonshine has a patch of sunburn on her nose (thanks to the those who suggested in that thread that we apply waterproof baby sunscreen, SPF50). Despite the plentiful shade in our pasture, they still hang out in the sun. So I grabbed the hose and decided to spray them down for some temporary relief. One thing I’ve learned about horses in general is that they don’t like “spraying” sounds, sudden movements, cold water on their what-nots and in general, things they haven’t pre-approved. I started with Mikki’s ex-show horse, Valentine, since he’s had more experience with things like cold showers. I let them smell the hose first, carefully turned it on so it sprayed a little and let them explore it with their mouths and nostrils. It’s the horse-way. Valentine loved it and began taking a drink from the hose (see picture). In fact he took a 10 minute drink from the hose, during which time I got a good soaking myself. I then gently sprayed his back, neck and undercarriage. He loved it! Moonshine stood nearby, wary. She was curious about the squirty thing, curious enough I was able to bring the hose to her mouth. She took a drink and I rubbed her neck and told her how pretty she was, in an effort to relax her. I tried to spray her down but even on a gentle spray setting, she didn’t really like it.
So for the past few days this has been our routine. Around noon when we see the horses coming to the barn for a drink, we head out to fill up their water bucket and spray them down to cool them off. And since it’s watermelon harvest time, we bring them some chunks of watermelon as a treat.
Have you been doing anything special to get through the heat wave?