Being the esteemed member of the animal kingdom that I am, I feel it is my duty to impart some knowledge to the human kind as to how to take care of other members of the animal kingdom in the summer months. I’m an old codger, I have been on this earth for 38 years, which is an unheard of age for a horse. Since I have been around that long. I have seen several instances where the temperatures have reached over one hundred degrees for weeks on end. (Did I mention I live in Texas, two miles from the sun?) Horses have a hard time in the heat, especially when there is humidity involved. My keeper puts us in the barn with a walkway, creating a slight breeze. It is interesting that there is nearly always a breeze through there, but just in case there is not, she has fans installed and they run nonstop on high. The fans not only help keep the air moving, they also help with the flies. (Face it, with horses there will be flies) She also hangs up fly traps and sprays us with fly spray. Along with that fresh water is a must. We have water dispensers that refill every time we drink out of them. Since they are automatic, they can break. I guess that is why she comes out three times a day to make sure we have fresh water. (I have seen horses die because their water dispensers stopped working and they had no water.) Keeping the water fresh also keeps the mosquitoes down. Since West Nile has been discovered we are all about… NO MOSQUITOS! To help keep them out of the big trough, the keeper puts minnows in the tank. Sometimes it is fun just to chase them in the tank. Of course, that involves dipping in the tank and splashing water on ourselves. In general we just make a big old mess, but it is fun. Another fun thing we do to keep cool is when the keeper comes out and sprays us with the water hose. She does this whenever the temps go over 100 degrees.
Now besides all that other stuff, we are allowed to role in the hot sand to scratch our backs. That feels awesome, but the keeper comes and brushes all the sand off of our backs to keep the sand from clumping on our backs and making sores. That brushing to remove the dirt really feels good. There are a couple of horses in our barn that have eyes that drain whenever the pollen count is up. When they drip, the flies like to nest in them, so the keeper puts fly masks on them. I don’t need one most of the time, but it seems to help the other horses. We used to have a white horse in the barn and he had to have not only a fly mask, he had to have a flysheet and fly boots. He looked pretty silly, but he didn’t suffer any fly related illnesses.
We had to revamp our treats due to the heat also. The keeper would bring us fresh carrots, which we loved, but with the heat the way it is the carrots would cook during the day. They would literally rot in the feed room. Since the keeper does not want us eating rotten food, she had to throw them out. What a shame, I love carrots. The keeper has since found oat treats that are flavored like carrots and they are even orange. They seem to be doing the trick. No horses have complained and we continue to eat them. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact either myself or the keeper.
Happy Trails to You!
Kandy Kay Scaramuzzo is a seventh generation Texan who has her own brick at The Cowgirl Museum. She has taught in alternative education for over twenty years. Ms.Scaramuzzo is a member of the 2012 Strathmore’s Who’s Who. She has a BA in Criminology and MAedCT. She works in horse, dog, cat and snake rescues. Ms. Scaramuzzo has been a tester observer for therapy dogs for nine years. She ran a therapy horse riding program for autistic children for five years. She has been a recognized animal behaviorist for over 20 years. This is her first book about an exceptional horse. She feels it is important to give back to maintain the balance of a civilized society.
This five star Readers’ Favorite book is the story of a twenty five year old ranch horse that was injured and pretty much left to die. He was brought to a stable and sold, even though no one really expected him to survive. He was reborn into a merchant of hope. His amazing spirit and calmness have helped many people over the next 13 years as he became the most amazing mentor and therapy horse. This is Pie’s story as he tells it about the most amazing second chance at life and his travels through it. You will meet his person, a shy young girl who he helps grow into adulthood. He will introduce you to the other horses and people that helped shape his journey. His influence has known no bounds throughout this last 13 years and he continues to shine his light even at the ripe old age of 38. This is a feel good story about life, love, second chances and giving back.