I just had a very weird discussion this afternoon with my buddy Babsi over
moving my horses from mainly stall living to paddock living. She's convinced
that they are going to die of pneumonia or something from the bitter cold of
the Egyptian winter. Here's the set-up. I'd like opinions. Any vets?
I've recently invested in some land next door to my friend Babsi's palace so
my horses can live in paddocks instead of boxes. I would have liked to do
this over the summer, but the opportunity came up in September while Kelly
was here. We planted grass on two thirds of the land and the other third is
sand for maybe a little house or something (and for a room for tack and
groom, etc). Things have gotten a bit strange over at my old stable (just
the OTHER side of Babsi's), so I plan to move the horses to temporary
paddocks in the sand part until the grass gets settled. The paddocks are
pipe and the area where I'm planning to put up a shelter (just a roof for
shade and the every-five-years rain drop) will not be ready for two or three
weeks. This year I haven't clipped any of my horses because I figure that
the fuzz will help them get used to being outside, and anyway, my life still
basically is far too-office oriented for them to overheat from excess work.
<G> Even the month or so they are on the sand, they will be getting a better
diet in terms of forage than they have now.
Having grown up in the mountains behind Ventura in California where it was
hot as Hades all summer and we would really have the odd morning with ice in
puddles in winter AND most horses were just pastured, I figure that the
horses will be fine. A REALLY cold night here is about 10 C or about 45 to
50 F. I seriously doubt that horses will up and die of shock from not being
in boxes at night with those temperatures. The most exotic of mine is the
Appaloosa/WB cross and he gets pretty fuzzy. The Arabs are baladi, so they
are used to all sorts of things, but they do tend not to get too fuzzy. I
figure it's just not cold enough for fuzz.
Don't know if she will listen to outside opinions, but I hate to see her
worry needlessly. (She'll probably say, "But they don't live in Egypt!" like
she does to me. Virtually everyone keeps their horses in stalls here because
land is expensive and they think I'm nuts to waste it on leaving horses out
Maryanne Stroud Gabbani