“Stacy, With all the travel you’re doing has the climate change affected the horses any? Do you do or give them anything extra? I know from driving a truck you can be in shorts and 90 degree weather and in 24 hours be in sub freezing temps. It caused a lot of cold symptoms with me.”-Jeff B.
We haven’t had issues with the travel negatively affecting the horses. There are probably several reasons for this. We knew we were going to be traveling to a variety of climates with the horses so we began blanketing them in the fall. This has given us the ability to regulate their ‘coats’ easily. We have seen other horses that were hauled into the warm weather in Arizona that had grown full winter coats. At night the temperatures dropped and we put blankets on ours and during the day the temperatures were in the mid to high 70’s and our horses could be naked. The other horses didn’t have that flexibility. Does the reduced heat stress make life easier on the horses? My guess is that it did and may have helped us keep them healthy.
We have kept their feed consistent although we do buy hay along the way. It has been easy to get consistency in the hay because most of it is coming from irrigated fields and the bales are amazingly similar. We also transition any hay changes gradually.
Our horses were also accustom to travel before we began this bigger journey. They have been hauled to horse shows and other places to ride all of their lives. They are also young, four and six, which makes them a bit more like teenager humans…very resilient.
Another possible key is that we are making a s-l-o-w trip unlike what you described. We tend to work our way to one area and then stay there for awhile. If we do happen to make a bigger move, several days of travel in a row, we skip riding the horses and pay close attention to any changes we may need to make in their blankets, windows or vents.
I worried some before the trip began about how we would handle things if a horse did get sick and then it dawned on me that I would handle it pretty much the same as if one of my children got sick. A few years ago on a trip to Colorado one of my sons woke up not feeling well. We were on our way to see the four corners but we stayed an extra day in the hotel. One extra day turned into two and then three. We never did make it to the four corners…but our son got feeling better and we just skipped that part of our trip.
Below is a video of our horses having fun on a hot day last week in California!