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Would you work your horse in smoke/code red air quality?

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  • Would you work your horse in smoke/code red air quality?

    My area is under a code red air quality alert today due to smoke from wildfires. You can clearly see the haze and smell the smoke. I pass an eventing barn on my way to/from work every day, and I was pretty surprised to see a lesson in progress when I drove by this evening. The high today was 97, and it's still in the low 90s now.

    Am I alone in thinking that's pretty poor horsemanship? Sure, the horses are out in it anyway, but why make them breathe any more of it than you have to? No way would I work my horse on a day like this. I didn't even let my dogs play outside when I got home, and my workout will be inside on the elliptical instead of outside running.
    Full-time bargain hunter.

  • #2
    I would NEVER subject any horse to that! How awful!
    Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.
    W. C. Fields

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    • #3
      It's so dry and dusty here that any activity makes the air quality, at least in the immediate area, BAD. Wouldn't work in smoke if it was really visible but we get a lot of it from California fires, our own fires and now from the Arizona fires. The ranch horses work in all of it....and can work in really heavy smoke to clear cattle on rangeland away from a fire area if that happens. Have seen some wearing a bandana to match their riders....looks odd but guessing it helps with the dust at least.
      Colored Cowhorse Ranch
      www.coloredcowhorseranch.com
      Northern NV

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      • #4
        I have been wondering this very thing, as I have many friends who've been affected by the smoke plume from the Wallow fire. In short, no, I would not work my horses in a smoke haze, whatever the temperature.

        Here we've been having a dust problem due to drought. When the dust is bad we leave the arena and find someplace less dusty to ride, or else we go out on the (quiet country but paved) road.

        In a smoke haze situation, I would be checking the air quality reports and treating my horse as I would any beloved individual in my life.

        But that's just me and my two cents' worth.

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        • #5
          Is the smoke supposed to hang around tomorrow as well?

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Dalpal, I don't think so ... at least that is what WRAL is saying. It should clear out overnight with a change in wind direction.
            Full-time bargain hunter.

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            • #7
              I would not want to be in it...
              But maybe it's a means to keep the kids ins something resembling 'normal'?
              Originally posted by BigMama1
              Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
              GNU Terry Prachett

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              • #8
                Originally posted by onelanerode View Post
                Dalpal, I don't think so ... at least that is what WRAL is saying. It should clear out overnight with a change in wind direction.
                Thank goodness. We actually had nice rides this AM, it was cool. I hadn't watched the news and had no idea about the smoke..then about lunch time it started rolling in above Wake Forest at the barn. It was indeed nasty. Had to drive home with the lights on.

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                • #9
                  We have the smoke from Florida, which goes out to sea near Jax, and then comes up the Gulfstream and then inland with the seabreeze.

                  And we have the smoke from the fires down in the Okefenokee.

                  And the ****** idiots have started some fires in the drought in the pine forests near the barn.

                  Only good result is that the smoke drives off the bugs until the winds shift.

                  Horses and humans are breathing that air, whether they are working or idle. I'd not want to be doing a lot of hard work in smoke. But since it is over 100 here each day, I don't see anyone riding.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cloudyandcallie View Post
                    Horses and humans are breathing that air, whether they are working or idle. I'd not want to be doing a lot of hard work in smoke.
                    That's pretty much how I feel about it. I'd probably be willing to ride in it, like I do in frigid temps, but I wouldn't want to do anything that would increase respiration much. Just a very light hack or some bending work at the walk, that sort of thing.
                    "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
                    -Edward Hoagland

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Wayside View Post
                      That's pretty much how I feel about it. I'd probably be willing to ride in it, like I do in frigid temps, but I wouldn't want to do anything that would increase respiration much. Just a very light hack or some bending work at the walk, that sort of thing.
                      We've had a few weeks of horrible air quality due to the Wallow fire, and that's what I do on the bad days...just go for a little walk or something to keep their legs stretched and minds working. There were a couple of days that were so bad I didn't ride at all, though. I could hardly do the barn chores without my lungs and eyes burning so there was no way I was going to make anyone breathe it more than we had to.

                      I do think it's unfair to put a horse through strenuous exercise on days with really poor air quality. Doesn't seem healthy for anyone involved, actually. At the same time, I can understand that an instructor might not be able to lose the business.
                      exploring the relationship between horse and human

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                      • #12
                        I'm so sorry about all of the folks having to deal with wildfires. I simply can't imagine the stress involved.
                        As for riding in smoke-- I don't ride my horses when the neighbors burn their pruning pile.
                        "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer
                        http://dressagescriblog.wordpress.com/

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                        • #13
                          This reminds me of this article: http://www.menshealth.com/health/effects-air-pollution

                          so in short, no I would not work my horse in air like that, particularly because he already coughs 2-3 times during the first trot.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I did not do any hard work during fires but yes I did work my horse. The fires a couple of years ago go on for weeks and one went on over a month. when the ash was falling-for days-I just groomed. It is hard when fires go on for weeks..

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                            • #15
                              The smoke was quite thick here in my part of the state too...but not till later. I am so glad the girl that has been riding my boy did so before it rolled in. I would not have let her ride him that way. He had a very hard time last year with his anhidrosis and has so far been good this year. No way will I chance his compromised health. I came home to find the horses in the barn (they can go in/out at will) standing in front of the fans when I got home in the thick of it all.

                              I hope it isn't bad today....it was terrible yesterday.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                WRT the smoke, it would depend on the local condition.

                                WRT code red in general, I might RIDE, but I wouldn't WORK (anything that gets them breathing hard.

                                What kind of lesson was it? There is lots of worthwhile stuff you can do at a walk with a little bit of trot. That would be very different from jumping Prelim courses, or working on lngthenings.
                                Janet

                                chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

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                                • #17
                                  No way, would I subject a horse to that.
                                  I saw the angel in the marble and I set him free. - Michaelangelo

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                                  • #18
                                    Nope, I would not make my horse run circles in that kind of smoke. And I had plans to ride last evening... the only chance I will likely have in the next two weeks to ride.
                                    Dreaming in Color

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Janet View Post
                                      WRT the smoke, it would depend on the local condition.

                                      WRT code red in general, I might RIDE, but I wouldn't WORK (anything that gets them breathing hard.

                                      What kind of lesson was it? There is lots of worthwhile stuff you can do at a walk with a little bit of trot. That would be very different from jumping Prelim courses, or working on lngthenings.
                                      This.
                                      Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                                      Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                                      -Rudyard Kipling

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                                      • #20
                                        NO !

                                        NO !
                                        Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

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