First off these are old photos since my camera is out of commission (obviously since he has no mane now). Second I really wanted to ride or do something with Chrome, but with a heat index of 129F today I decided not to.... yes it felt like ONE HUNDRED TWENTY NINE degrees outside today! It's miserable! You sweat instantly when you walk outside, but it doesn't evaporate so you just get hotter and hotter and stickier and stickier. I felt dizzy just being outside for ten minutes or so!!
So all I did was feed Chrome and let him and Zep graze in the yard all day. When they are out grazing I occasionally go look out all of my windows until I spot them to make sure they aren't traipsing through the woods (holes) or being naughty. After a few hours Zep was spotted being naughty!! I looked out my French doors and the silly donkey had dragged a bag out of the carport where I had left it after cleaning out the storage building. He had opened the bag and pulled out Chrome's baby blanket and was shaking it all around like he wanted to kill it..... thanks donkey!! Teach me to leave something out thinking I was going to go back for it to clean it lol.
Chrome's baby blanket.
So I put Zep back in the pasture, but I left Chrome out since he was being good. Then I noticed he was covered in sweat... seriously he looked like the picture at the top of this post where I had just given him a bath. He's been sweating everyday just standing around in the pasture, but he isn't normally soaked in sweat. He was also just standing in the driveway, not grazing, playing, sniffing, nothing. I felt of his chest and he was warm, but not super hot or anything. So I dragged out the hose, put his halter on and grabbed my sweat scraper.
I started with just spraying his front legs because I know how shocking the cold well water can be. He flinched and danced around a bit, but didn't try to walk away so I threw his rope over his neck so my hands would be free. Eventually I worked up to his shoulders. I would spray a minute, then sweat scrape, then spray, then scrape, etc. The rope kept getting in the way of scraping so I finally took it off and threw it aside. He still didn't walk away. I knew he was enjoying it because normally he doesn't care to be sprayed and will walk away if not held or tied up. I tried spraying his body, but he kept moving his haunches away and flinching telling me it was still too cold, so I finally sprayed it up in the air over us and let it come down like rain. He was surprised at first, but he was fine so I did that for a minute, the scraped, then sprayed, etc. I kept doing that until the water I scraped off was cool instead of warm. He played in the water with his mouth, holding it in his mouth and pushing his nose against it so it sprayed back in my face and made me squeal. :D Finally he walked away and started grazing, so I knew he was cool enough. I turned off the hose and scraped him one last time and then left him to graze.
A bit later when I went over to my parent's house (same property) my dad told me that Chrome and Zep were galloping all over the yard and playing......... so THAT'S why he was so hot!! I felt so bad about how hot it was I didn't want to work him and then he goes and does that lol. Silly boy! My parents said they enjoyed watching them play and Chrome licked on the deer salt block again. :)
So when I was researching if it was too hot to ride I found something interesting. It's called the Heat Stress Index. Basically all you do is add together the temperature with the humidity. If the number is below 120 it's all good, if it's over 150 especially if over 50% is humidity it is getting harder for the horse to cool himself and you have to be very careful, if it's over 170 you don't ride!! Ours added together was 160 so I chose not to ride (mainly because it was making me dizzy, but also because I didn't want to hurt Chrome).
Anyway I'm going to test out the camera tomorrow and see if it's working. It's supposed to be cooler this week and I want to get pictures of Chrome's hooves since it's been a while and a friend of mine wants to see how they're doing. :) Stay cool everyone!