Hot Leo

South Texas is having the first of its summer’s heat wave.  Well over 100 degrees the last few days.  Lauren has been getting the horses into the barn early in the afternoon as we do not have any trees in our pasture.  The land we purchased was farm land so no one wanted trees out there. 

We added the fences when we came so three of the trees that were planted to surround the house actually ended up on the horse’s side of the fence. I think, because of the size and type of trees, that the most recent previous owners had decided to grow a little orchard on the southside of the house.  Included in this area are pear, fig and plum trees.  There are a few of each.  On the horse side of the fence, the three trees were plum.

I vividly remember walking out to the pasture to find white Snowboy covered in blood.  There were reddish stains all down his neck and front legs.  I ran up to him with my heart pumping only to discover that my previously starved rescue pony had spent the morning eating all the plums high and low from the tree.  Snowboy’s stripping of the fruit coincided with our summer of flood waters and we lost all three of these trees that first year.

The horses have nothing but open pasture.  In the mornings, the shadow of the house and the one big tree left by the yard throw some shade into the pasture but by noon it is all full sun.  Our barn/giant run-in shed faces east so by mid-afternoon shade is making its way across the paddock in front.  We have put up big fans in the stalls which successfully move the hot air around.

Leo decided to take the getting cool into his own hands today (or hooves to be correct).  He has always liked to go to the 100 gallon water trough and splash the water up on his neck and head.  He does this by methodically moving his head back and forth until the water splashes out of the trough and onto him.  Today with temperatures soaring he managed to take his front legs and place them in the trough.  Lauren said he was quite content to stand in the trough looking like an old man soaking his feet.

While Leo was content to hang out in the trough, I was concerned that he would get startled and hurt trying to get out of the water.  I was also concerned that Mickey would decide it was his water trough and relentlessly bother Leo until he moved out of the trough (and subsequently got hurt).

Lauren decided (at my urging) to set up the sprinkler.  It works for kids, right?  There is always danger a horse will get hurt, no matter what they do and the hose/sprinkler certainly presented a few opportunities for this but we are living on the edge.  Horses running through sprinklers, cats chasing poisonous snakes, it’s all in a day at the farm.

Well, as you can see-Leo loved the sprinkler.  This may become a regular afternoon treat.  However, you can see that none of the other horses had any interest in Leo’s method of beating the heat. 

Tomorrow, we try to get Feather to load in the trailer and go to the trainers.  Caroline has generously offered to come and help.  Actually, I begged and pleaded until she agreed, but whatever it takes.  I am giving it one hour.  If she doesn’t load in that time, I give up for now.  Check tomorrow for an update.  Oh, and say a little prayer for everyone’s safety. It is appreciated!

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