BACH August 2022 Event: Caring for Our Equines in Extreme Heat and Drought (and other topics).

Fourteen BACH members came together at Big Shots Golf in Bryan, TX August 9th 2022 for an informal but very informative exchange of ideas about caring for our horses in the on-going heat and many other topics. The evening began with ideas about training and exercising horses using the “Horse Heat Index”: when temperature plus humidity are higher than 150, exercise should be limited. While some members swore by riding in the mornings, others found that riding after 7:30 PM was less stressful. What is your preference? Do the math, and find out. The use of brushing boots and polo wraps were discussed. Both of these, create an undue amount of heat and cellular death in the tendons during extreme heat and should be avoided if possible and then, only for very short periods of time. In times of extreme temperatures, fans can become blast furnishes and keeping horses in the barn during the day depends on the barn. A pasture with a shady spot might provide better air circulation. A misting fan can also be set up in the barn or the run-in shelter for better cooling. Constant use of misting fans in the barn can set up a condition for mold to proliferate. One BACH member puts the mister out in the paddock which the horses soon learn is a great place to be!

Another topic of concern during the summer is skin problems. Skin problems occur due to plant allergies, insect allergies and constant sweat. Several members had very sensitive horses and had a wealth of information about topicals and injectables the worked, or did not work, for their horses. One of the messages that came out of the discussion was that no product seemed to work forever and it usually was better if they were rotated. Different veterinarians had different cocktails that they preferred.

There does not seem to be any foolproof breakthroughs for the anhidrotic horse although there are more products on the market now. But it is such an idiopathic condition that all you can say is that some things (electrolytes) work some times with some horses.

This is just a brief synopsis of the range of topics covered. Donna Meyer, our Activities Director kept the conversation moving through these and several other topics. In all, it was a very worthwhile discussion. I thought that I had a pretty good understanding of the topics but I was surprised at how much I learned. And now, when I have a particular problem, I will remember who it was that had a horse with that problem and I will be able to reach out and get experienced advise!