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Is keeping horses easier in south than north?

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  • #61
    Originally posted by Megaladon View Post
    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. ... 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.

    After having to dig through feet of snow, battle minus twenty Fahrenheit temperatures, replace water buckets as they shatter when cleared of ice we gave up and moved to Texas


    The grass in the late summer may be better up north, but the frozen water buckets that do occur for six to seven months a year up north have lead to colic deaths

    As for hay cost... this offset by the oil and natural gas production that the people up north use without concern during the long cold winters, so our hay is free... just wished we had bought more land that we did.

    snakes, fire ants, chiggers.... in Kentucky we had timber rattlers, copperheads and chiggers.... only the fire ants haven't adapted ...yet

    but we never have to deal with this
    http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...-of-the-stalls

    Comment


    • #62
      Yeah, long winters/cold and frozen water, needing to stall horses resulting in inactivity - a prescription for colic

      We have grass from April to November most years and turnout is very rarely limited at all.
      "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
      ---
      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

      Comment


      • #63
        Originally posted by EqTrainer View Post
        Yeah, long winters/cold and frozen water, needing to stall horses resulting in inactivity - a prescription for colic

        We have grass from April to November most years and turnout is very rarely limited at all.
        I think colic is possible anywhere, anytime.

        EqTrainer, I agree with most of your posts, but this one just took me back. My horses are outside unless it is sleeting, or a sheet of ice. We rarely get either. (I think yesterday your weather was worse then ours) Only two are blanketed, and that is because this is their first year here, and they are not yet adapted. Most of them look like Yaks. Two of the Big Boys are out all night long, unblanketed. I can hear them thundering around out there, and often watch the sun rising, with those two in the background. I also have grass from April (sometimes March!) to November. The water isn't frozen, that is what heated buckets are for.

        I'm sure farther North it is more wicked then PA, but I firmly believe 99% of horse prefer cooler over warmer.

        Last time I rode my little mare, I had my HANDS FULL. She is usually very well behaved, but GoodGawdAlmighty she was 14 hands of fire breathing dragon. Her 20 year old sister was pretty full of herself too. I'll take crisp cold days like today over 80* and 80% humidity any day. And so will my horses. When it is hot, they head for the barn. And are happy to change to night turnout.

        I think the whole 'head south for the winter' is a human thing. Well birds and butterflies too, but they are wimps.
        Facta non verba

        Comment


        • #64
          Lawndart, its just a generalization in response to an earlier post about northern grass being less likely to cause colics. i should have copied it!

          I lived in michigan for many years and our horses lived out also no matter what the circumstance but many, many did not... Were stalled all winter
          "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
          ---
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

          Comment


          • #65
            Originally posted by clanter View Post
            After having to dig through feet of snow, battle minus twenty Fahrenheit temperatures, replace water buckets as they shatter when cleared of ice we gave up and moved to Texas


            The grass in the late summer may be better up north, but the frozen water buckets that do occur for six to seven months a year up north have lead to colic deaths. Frozen buckets for 6-7 mos does not occur where I live. (Yikes! How far up North were you?--that sounds like Arctic Circle s*** to me LOL!)

            As for hay cost... this offset by the oil and natural gas production that the people up north use without concern during the long cold winters, so our hay is free... just wished we had bought more land that we did. In my area, most people use wood from their own land, labor intensive but far cheaper than gas bills. In TX, I still had to use heat (windchill takes cold to a whole other level) and had an A/C bill. When I lived in TX the price for excellent quality Timothy hay was $25.00/bale. You can get the same quality here, for $2.50/bale or less depending on amount of bales you purchase.
            snakes, fire ants, chiggers.... in Kentucky we had timber rattlers, copperheads and chiggers.... only the fire ants haven't adapted ...yet

            but we never have to deal with this
            http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...-of-the-stalls
            Yeah, you got to be tough to live up North. Cause that frozen poop and pee sucks. Every place has it's pros and cons, you just have to decide what you can deal with and what you can't.
            I LOVE my Chickens!

            Comment


            • #66
              True!!!
              "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
              ---
              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

              Comment


              • #67
                Originally posted by EqTrainer View Post
                Lawndart, its just a generalization in response to an earlier post about northern grass being less likely to cause colics. i should have copied it!

                I lived in michigan for many years and our horses lived out also no matter what the circumstance but many, many did not... Were stalled all winter
                Ahhh, that explains it. You and I are generally on the same page, care wise. Riding wise, you are on a whole different level

                Maybe we should define what 'North' really is. Above the Mason-Dixon line? North of Interstate 80? Canada? To me Michigan is pretty North and a lot colder and meaner than PA.

                I do think a LOT of it is attitude. If you go into Winter (or a Southern Summer) with the attitude that you are going to hate it, it is awful, and soooo loonnng, well that will become true.

                If you embrace the crisp blue days, take the grey howling days as downtime for you and your horse, you might enjoy it.

                Of course, this is said by a Woman who's commute is about 100 yards. If I had to drive in this shit every day, I might be damned cranky too!
                Facta non verba

                Comment


                • #68
                  Originally posted by lawndart View Post

                  Maybe we should define what 'North' really is. yes:
                  anything above Interstate 40 appears to be a dividing line

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by clanter View Post
                    anything above Interstate 40 appears to be a dividing line
                    So clanter, for a geography-challenged person (or someone who doesn't have an Atlas), where, as in what state is Interstate 40?
                    Sue

                    I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      MSJ, I had to google Map of Interstate 40 It runs from Los Angles, CA to Charlotte, NC. Not really straight, but generally below the midwestern states. That to me anyway, is far South.

                      I guess it shows that perception is everything, because I consider anything above Interstate 80 cold country!!
                      Facta non verba

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Yes.
                        We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.
                        www.dleestudio.com

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          After living in central Texas my whole life, I'm never keeping horses there again. No pasture, horrible heat, DROUGHT, rocks everywhere, dry wells, salty coats, expensive feed. I hate it there.

                          If dressed properly, I can handle some cold. There's only so much clothing you can take off from April-early November...

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            We live 2 miles N of I-40, about 4000' to 5000' high and semi-desert to desert lizard dry.
                            We get blizzards and blue northerns and can easily get to -7F several days a year, snow on the ground in wet years for weeks.

                            Then, in the summers, we get to 110F also, some times for days on end, over 100F for weeks.

                            I think that the line of what is very cold or very hot is not a static designation, but tends to change with the seasons and weather, droughts, etc.

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Thanks lawndart.

                              I know I prefer to be able to bundle up and put layers on to stay warm but I cannot take off enough clothes to stay cool in the southern heat without getting :

                              1. arrested for indecent exposure and,
                              2. scaring all the animals!

                              I spent about 4-5 yrs south of the Mason-Dixon line in MD, near DC and, while I was a LOT younger, I know that I couldn't do that again. I couldn't stand the ticks back then let alone the copperheads, and bugs so I doubt I could stand them now.

                              Now, does that mean that I'm enamored with the bitter cold we've just had, or snowfalls that measure 2-4 ft at a time? Not on your life but a lot depends on where you're located. I much prefer to be able to use a hose to water than to have to use buckets because the hose froze.

                              Louise on this board also lives in the Rochester, NY area but she's up by the lake and probably has over a ft of snow whereas I live below the NY thruway and have barely 1 inch.

                              Last winter we barely had any snow and no bitter cold that I remember but we did have a hotter than normal summer. I thought I was going to melt and one horse, who hates bugs, spent most of the time in a stall. Same horse spends most of the time outside in colder weather. The other horse is a wimp and spends summer and winter in a stall. Mind you the stall doors are open so they can come and go at will and get out of the snow, rain, sun, etc.

                              Someone else said that you get used to heat or cold if you have to but you may not enjoy it. I'm sure most of us prefer a moderate climate to extreme heat or cold. You just have to learn to live with what you've got.
                              Sue

                              I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                No it is not. We warmbloods both come from colder climes, and we have to deal with ******* bugs most of the year. Now with global warming, we have to spray almost all year long. And it's hot, too hot for wintertime again this year.

                                Not to mention the sun burn, and the humidity, and again, the bugs!

                                It's a tradeoff. In olden times, our owner said it was only unbearably hot in August. Now it's March through October. Our electrolytes get imbalances from the heat, we have to deal with all the humidity issues, etc. Not to mention the way the heat affects old horses. We're not old yet, but we soon will be.

                                So while it's bad in ice and snow, it's also bad in heat and humidity and bugs. We need to win the lottery and get air-conditioned barn and indoor.

                                We do like the idea that we have green grass right now. But we warmbloods cannot eat a lot of grass, so by spring, we'll be limited in grazing by our owner.

                                The concept is, of course, to be rich enough to winter in the southland, and summer up in New England. minus those big biting flies up there of course. Nothing is perfect. Used to be that the southland was great most of the year. No longer true.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #76
                                  What thorough replies!

                                  Thank you, COTHer's, for all of your thoughtful replies . I think just about every issue that I was debating in my head has been mentioned in the thread.
                                  One more issue - up here in the north, our best riding weather coincides with the longest days of the year. In the south, if the best riding weather is in the fall -winter, how do you ride after work if it gets dark at 5pm?

                                  And one more: Some southerners mention mud, others don't. Where in the southeast is the best areas to avoid mud? But with avoidance of mud potential, does that come with a decrease in pasture quality?

                                  Thank you

                                  Comment


                                  • #77
                                    cgn, the best riding time, depending on your definition of "best", is really from March through November or so, with a bit of a timeout in July and August if the high heat/humidity combo knocks you down. So, "we" have a much longer "best riding time" season

                                    It doesn't get dark at 5 down here The further South you are, the longer it stays light. Now, granted, here in NC, it's full dark by about 5:30 in early December, where the earliest sunset is (which is earlier on the calendar than the shortest day of the year). You either have a few lights around your ring to make it safe, or you ride under the moon, or you ride before work LOL

                                    Mud? The only places you won't have "real" mud is where it's sandy, which is the coast of NC, the more Southern and Eastern parts of NC (ie Southern Pines, Pinehurst, down that area), and similar areas of SC and GA. I don't know how much of FL has non-sandy areas, though I do know there are large parts of GA that have clay.

                                    Decrease in pasture quality - depends on your definition of that. Bermuda grasses tend to really like sandy soil. Generally, the sandier soils in this area come with higher temperatures, which makes several grasses not like it much at all. Fescue is the most common grass, and that makes for very good, hardy pasture in most places, save for the dead of Summer.
                                    ______________________________
                                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                    Comment


                                    • #78
                                      BS on the only mud is where it's sandy. I lived in Montgomery AL, which had "gumbo" soil, more clay than anything else. You walk out to catch a horse and come in with 10 pounds of mud on each boot. And when I lived on the Gulf Coast in MS, we never had mud, and our soil was comprised of almost all sand. Sand colic was an issue; mud, not so much.
                                      COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                                      "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

                                      Comment


                                      • #79
                                        Arizona!

                                        If you can erase July and August this is the place to be!

                                        My horses have fans and misters in the summer and do really well.

                                        I get up very early in summer to ride and clean and then come in, take a shower and go to work!

                                        Winter is fantastic and the heat is low on humidity.

                                        I can't take heat and humidity.

                                        I love Arizona especially when I can leave in August for vacation!

                                        Comment


                                        • #80
                                          Originally posted by cgn38 View Post
                                          Thank you, COTHer's, for all of your thoughtful replies . I think just about every issue that I was debating in my head has been mentioned in the thread.
                                          One more issue - up here in the north, our best riding weather coincides with the longest days of the year. In the south, if the best riding weather is in the fall -winter, how do you ride after work if it gets dark at 5pm?
                                          First, despite rumors we do have electrcity down here

                                          Secondly the available daylight is greater in the south
                                          http://www.sunrisesunset.com/predefined.asp

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