Sunday, August 7, 2011

Dry Bones: Drought in Texas

As of this writing, the Dallas/Fort Worth area is experiencing its 37th consecutive day of triple digit heat. On this day last week, it was 93° at 6:30 a.m., and you can see what it was when I left work. This is our "hell to pay" for those wonderful days of riding in jeans and a tee shirt while y'all are freezing your hoo-hoos off in the winter.
 Poco and Jaz mowing the dog yard in August 2008
The dog yard this morning
 Poco (front pasture) expressing his displeasure
that Jaz and I have left him
for a ride down the road in August 2008
Front pasture today
  Back pasture August 2008
 Back pasture summer 2011

As you can see, the land is beyond parched; we can only imagine what it would look like if the horses were here. I sent them to Iron Ridge to let the land recover, but without rain, it has gone from bad to worse. Not that it's any better at the farm. Heather is facing the same challenges on a larger scale. There is no hay locally. So far, most of the horses are holding their weight on a diet of Complete Assurance, beet pulp, and minerals.

The heat is another story. Daltrey is moving even slower than he normally does. Jaz has been off for the last couple days. He usually doesn't like being stalled, but he hasn't even had the motivation to complain. He plays with his food and isn't drinking as much as he should. I took two box fans up there and bought him 20 quarts of his favorite flavor of Gatorade, Blueberry Pomegranate. Heather said he drank 5 of them last night. When Jason set up the fans (wired to the outside of the stall), Jaz backed his butt up to one of them. Heather said he ate last night with a bit more gusto than he has been, so it's working, at least a little.

The weather is not fit for woman or beast. No riding until it breaks.


Unknown said...

I hear you. Our Barn Owner has a connect with a farm that irrigates, so she still gets hay. I don't know what we'd be doing without that.

I can't imagine riding after 10 am. It's just miserable.

Pat Miran said...

It sounds like you are having it bad there. I thought the weather was hot here in Athens,PA, the last half of July when it was between 90 and 100 degrees with no rain, but we have had rain for the last few days and the temperatures have cooled. Hope you get rain soon and you and the horses are ok.

Pinzgauer said...

Yeah, I have 2 down with the heat now. Not bad, but not right either, so they are getting special attention. Jaz and Diesel - both are my special flowers! Cayenne is showing minor signs (big nostrils) but still handling it decently. There's just no place to get them out of it. It's HOT in the shade, and with all the grass gone, the sand is making it hotter.

I like summer, but this crap sucks.

cdncowgirl said...

Leah please remind me to read this post when its deep winter here... I'll keep the cold if the trade off is heat like that. WOW. I do NOT know how y'all get through it.
(hehehe Ed Wright is coming at the beginner of October again, I believe he's from the Stephenville area)

I've heard that Texas is having a severe drought. Seeing those pics of your pasture and then seeing how they looked a few years ago... that brings it all home. Scary. Hope you get rain, soon!

Dreaming said...

I just can't imagine living with triple digits for that long. Ouch! I worked with horses this morning and was dying at 81 - ugh.
I hope things turn around. It's pretty scary with so many areas in drought.

Jeni said...

A dear friend of mine (whom I bought Bonnie from) lives in the Houston area.

He just lost his "heart horse" Champ. Champ was 30 years old, and had been with my friend for 25 of those 30 years. Champ couldn't handle the heat and drought no more.

I really really hope things cool off or something for you guys very soon.

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

It has been utter devastation for so many ranchers/farmers in that area (and Oklahoma)...

Having lived through similar droughts in SD...I feel you all's pain.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Wow! That's just horrific. But I totally empathize because we've been through similar, except, even though we've had drought that lasted a year or longer, we don't usually have triple digits temps. The hottest I can remember it ever getting up here is the upper 90's. I don't think it's ever been in the triple digits. Thank God!
And now that we're getting precious rain ever day or two, things have really cooled off and I've not even had to water my garden by hand for the past two weeks.
We haven't needed to turn on A/C or our swamp cooler during the summer in several years. Without humidity and without the high heat, we can stay cool in the shade. I can't imagine how horrible it would be not to even have that escape. Poor horses :(

I'll send up a prayer that your area cools off and gets some rain real soon.


Leah Fry said...

I may visit the Boyz, groom them, hose them down, give them a Gatorade, etc., but I'm not riding until temps fall back just a little. Not good for my horse and not good for me. For awhile, we were riding earlier and it wasn't bad, but now it never even gets out of the mid 80s.

Several people I know from work went to the doc with flu-like symptoms and were told they were suffering from the heat.

Morning Bray Farm said...

I'm sorry that you're having it so bad there. Your pictures tell the story... praying you get rain soon.

Crystal said...

Oh no, hope it cools down and rains soon, not good when everyone is suffering like that.

C-ingspots said...

Oh Leah, that sounds just unbearable!! I will keep sending my prayers for heat relief and some rain for all you suffering in those drought conditions. Just looking at your pictures is a little scary...I can't even imagine.

aurora said...

How scary for all concerned. Wishing you cooler days, with some gentle rain to top it off - and sooner then later!

ezra_pandora said...

I cannot even imagine. I hope you all stay strong and we are all watching and hoping you guys get some rain. My hubby does horse transport and they are getting a load (for personal sales only, no kill) coming from Texas because the people just cannot afford to keep their horses with hay prices. It's just abominable, this weather.

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