HOUSTON (CW39) – Enough horsing around now, this information is serious…ly interesting. I spent the day at Bailey Oaks Farms for more information about how the weather impacts the horses that live here. Unlike a cat or a dog, a bit more planning needs to be done when caring for a horse during hurricane season.
Kayli Graham, a trainer at Bailey Oaks Farms, says, “Your emergency plan should cover two options: either staying here and waiting out the storm or evacuating. Which one you go with depends on the property you live on. This property was built for horses. We have higher elevation and a retention pond out back to reduce the risk of flooding.”
Horses can be very similar to your pets at home. Think of them as big puppies!
“Some horses don’t like the rain very much and especially if there is lightning or thunder horses can get very scared. Cold weather affects horses the same way it does humans…. So, you want to make sure there is adequate shelter and blankets to keep them warm.”, Kayli adds.
Kayli says, “It is important to monitor horses in the heat and be sure they are not undergoing any type of heat stress. To help them stay cool, give them frequent baths after exercise”.
Making sure they have access to clean and fresh water always is one of the most important things. Keeping them in a well-ventilated area is important too. Which also helps avoid the insects which are prevalent in our summers.
Have you ever seen a horse shaking?
“What he is trying to do is get rid of the flies. He isn’t a big fan of flies. None of the horses are. He is just trying to get rid of them because he does not have hands to brush them away. So, he must get a little creative. He will move his head or shake his skin, or he has is tail… Which is a built-in fly swatter”, Kayli adds.
Now let’s see if this meteorologist can double as an equestrian.
I felt a little unstable, like I should have been holding on to something else!
“Hold on with your legs!”, says Kayli.
Horses can also feel “under the weather”…. Just like us! Colic can be compared to the stomach bug that us humans. The difference however, is that horses can’t physically throw up. So, their caretakers need to closely monitor them when the weather suddenly changes. Unlike dogs…Horses do sweat in the heat! Another cool thing about horses is that. They are really connected with the wind. They stand facing downwind, that way they can watch out for things they can’t smell and the wind will help alert them to what’s behind them. This position also keeps dust, sand and even their own tail from blowing in their eyes!