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Is keeping horses easier in south than north?

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  • #41
    My experience: lived in PA (on NY border) and TX. I feel that the horses are much healthier in the north. There is a longer grass season, the grass has a lot more moisture (resulting in what I believe, a less colic rate), and the hay is far superior at a much cheaper rate. Horses do not mind the bone chilling temps like us humans do, but I did notice a remarkable stress extreme heat puts on them. Plus you don't have to deal with fire ants, scorpions, chiggers and poisonous snakes. A northern winter is not for the faint of heart though and some days, things can really suck.
    I LOVE my Chickens!

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    • #42
      Originally posted by skykingismybaby1 View Post
      Silly person,,,,, you need two farms, one for the winter (south) and one for the summer (north). See? Problem solved.
      Now thats what I am talking about. Seriously, I must admit I have been checking out southern real estate all week, with all this cold.
      Just like our eyes, our hearts have a way of adjusting to the dark.--Adam Stanley

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      • #43
        North for me. Lived in Chicago when I bought first horse but boarded the entire time. Fortunately, we had an indoor. In the spring, turnout ceased until the
        pastures started to come in well so you had to work at getting the woo-hoos out
        of your horse before climbing on. Guys did put them in the indoor, about four at
        a time, when they cleaned stalls.

        Denver area was lovely. Rode outdoors most of the winter. Yeah, we got some good snows but it would melt fairly quickly. Because the area is semi-arid and we had a heavily treed lot, we fed about the same amount of hay all year.

        Here, in Texas, we have way more flies, rabies, heat, humidity. It was the heat
        that ended leading to the old guy's euthansia. Every spring, the other two pack
        their suitcases, stand at the fence, and look to the northwest....ready to leave
        any time. We run fans like crazy, fly predators, fly spray and didn't ride near as much. Hay has been through the roof for the last couple of years and has always
        been higher than what we paid or would pay in Colorado.

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        • #44
          Not a good time to consider this question for someone who just spent 2 days digging out and splcing around 100' of frozen main water line.

          But bugs, heat, fire ants, killer bees, and suffocating humidity are considerations.
          Comprehensive Equestrian Site Planning and Facility Design
          www.lynnlongplanninganddesign.com

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          • #45
            I'll take my 2 months of heat and humidity over your 4-6 months of real Winter any day
            ______________________________
            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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            • #46
              Originally posted by JB View Post
              I'll take my 2 months of heat and humidity over your 4-6 months of real Winter any day
              Amen to that!!

              Have kept horses at home in Tennessee and Vermont, there is no comparison as to how much easier it is in Tennessee. Plus we don't have that 5th season, mud season. I had never seen such deep, boot sucking mud in my life (or black flies for that matter).
              www.retiredhorses.com
              Blogging about daily life on the retirement farm: http://paradigmfarms.blogspot.com/
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              • #47
                There is a HUGE difference between TX/LA/FL vs the Carolinas vs TN/KY vs VA/MD. I will NEVER EVER move back to TX. Two years about killed me. I would move back to KY though.

                But I love NC. Sure it gets hot and humid in the summer but that is my field season at work so my horses usually get the hottest months off. They have shade and water, they are fine and they do adapt. Us people learn to do things slowly and relax and have a drink often. :-D I HATE SNOW and winter and ice. We have four seasons here, although climate change is leading them further into unpredictability, but that's the situation everywhere. Wearing a t-shirt in January will never get old. And I will never go back to shoveling snow or breaking ice with a hammer. *shudder*
                Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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                • #48
                  The thing about TX though is that due to its size, there are pretty significant differences in climate. So for those of you who talk about the humidity and such in TX, you probably weren't in the north or the northwest parts. Not humid. Not at all humid like Iowa, MO, IL, MI summers. Still get snow. Bugs do die off. Much different than living down by Houston or something.
                  A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                  Might be a reason, never an excuse...

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                  • #49
                    It has been -30*F here for the past couple nights...I'd love to be anywhere south right now!
                    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

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                    • #50
                      NC is the same way - depends where. The coast usually gets more and hotter days than in the central area, often a lot more humid as well. The mountains are usually very temperate even in July and August - so much lower humidity. But, Winters are more "real" there.
                      ______________________________
                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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                      • #51
                        I think east TN is about as good as it gets. We have four distinct seasons, but our cold is not so cold (I haven't had any frozen water that required more than a tap so far this year), and our hot is not generally too hot. It is humid, but we have the mountains for riding, where it is generally much cooler and shady, even in July. We have trails everywhere - lakes and mountains scattered in every direction. Hay is cheap and plentiful, land is relatively cheap. Today, we are having an ice storm, but tomorrow it will be 45 and sunny, so I'm not complaining.

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                        • #52
                          I'm surprised you haven't been that cold - is that normal? We've had a mild Winter, but I don't have water in a good place to really attest to ice - one tank is heated, and the other is against a South-facing barn wall, so stays warmer longer, and warms up sooner. For it to ice over means it got more than a few * below freezing, and for more than a few hours. But over normal Winters yes, it can get a good 1" or so of ice on a regular basis, and more if it's cold and cloudy for several days at a time.
                          ______________________________
                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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                          • #53
                            Originally posted by BuddyRoo View Post
                            Moved from MI to NoVA this fall looking forward to missing out on the frigid cold and what do we get? Mud mud mud followed by COLD! I'm starting to get the feeling that winter here is really an extended mud season punctuated by cold snaps. Say it isn't so!?!?
                            It's not usually this bad. Last year we had a pretty warm winter and no snow at all. I actually think it's the perfect balance here. All 4 seasons. It's not as cold as New England (usually!) and not as hot as Florida.

                            However, I of course bitch and moan about how cold it is right now, and will do the same when I am sweating my ass off in August. At least each season here is only about 3 months!

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                            • #54
                              I grew up in Phoenix, AZ and have now lived in the Seattle area for close to 20 years. Comparing those two climates… You could not pay me any amount of money to move back to AZ. The winters kinda suck here in that they are very rainy… But we don't get horrible cold and I will take rain and very occassional snow over 115 degrees any day of the week. We have plenty of beautiful grass, gorgeous trails, and there are plenty of covered arenas here that keep you nice and dry when it’s wet out. Weather wise Arizona was ok in the winter but it was a complete hell hole in the summer. We used to get up at 4AM to clean stalls and ride because the heat was unbearable. There was dirt everywhere with hardly a stitch of grass unless you irrigate, and even then it only lasts a very short time. Oh, and the dust devils! Sweet lord how do I describe the awfulness of being whipped in the face with a tornado of sand in the middle of your ride??? NOT COOL. Like I said, total hell hole.

                              I have many things from my childhood to thank my parents for but moving us out of AZ is tops on the list!

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                              • #55
                                I would say that having horses in California was much easier than having them in Missouri which was MUCH, MUCH easier than having them here in Minnesota. I only lost about 6 weeks of riding in Missouri compared to 4 months here in Minnesota. Of course I rode all year round in California.

                                Yes it is easier the warmer you go.

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                                • #56
                                  Buddy Roo, we're in north central Texas and yes, it's humid here, too. Forgot to mention the fire ants, scorpions and spiders, both black widow and brown recluse
                                  that abound. Yes, Texas has a lot of different climes....western is dryer and higher. Much like Colorado for climate differences. Living in the mountains and
                                  horsekeeping is probably much harder than living in the Denver area or the
                                  Western slope areas as far as horse keeping goes.

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                                  • #57
                                    From South Florida (and a native to boot) to Western Montana here...
                                    This time of year I miss Florida terribly. Without a doubt horse care is easier in the south. What I don't miss is all the heat related health problems the horses suffered from down there.

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                                    • #58
                                      Mostly easier. Until, that is, you own an older horse with anhidrosis and spend every single day from mid-June until mid-September stuck at work and FUH-REAKING out b/c you're worried he won't get the hydration he needs to stay alive.
                                      "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief

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                                      • #59
                                        Not even close. I had horses in NJ for 15 years, and have had them in FL for 10 years. My horses stay outside 24/7, 12 months out of the year. I even foal them outside. I have a barn with 2 stalls; I never use it. I have huge oak trees where the horses hang out during the summer, and they do fine. I dont have a bug problem here; maybe because I have chickens? At any rate, if I ever had to move north again, I would NOT have horses. Period. There is nothing fun about having horses in the wintertime up north. Nothing.

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                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by JB View Post
                                          I'll take my 2 months of heat and humidity over your 4-6 months of real Winter any day
                                          Indeed!

                                          24 here today but tuesday.. 68!!!!!! Heck yes I love living in the south!
                                          "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                                          ---
                                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

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