Quick, think of a horse! Chances are you imagined one in a feral herd in the American Southwest, or one that’s carrying a cowboy in Colorado or Texas. Maybe the first thing that came to mind was a horse of the Asian steppe. Perhaps you thought of a horse-drawn carriage in Central Park or trail riding in Glacier National Park.
Even if you’re here in the Lake Worth area, your mind probably didn’t immediately think about horses in Florida unless you’ve already been to our riding school or experienced trail riding with us. In fact, there haven’t been any wild, non-feral horses in the United States for nearly 10,000 years, and if they ever lived in Florida then the climate was certainly different when they did.
So you might wonder: do horses enjoy Florida? Is it too hot for them, and are they getting the right food they need? Let’s take a look
Individual Animals Can Adapt
If you’ve ever been to the San Diego Zoo, you might think that it’s cruel to keep a polar bear in such a hot environment. But a change in diet can make a polar bear much more comfortable; when you take away the copious amounts of fat they eat in the wild, they trim down in captivity. They shed their own fat so that they’re not nearly as hot.
Diet is important with horses as well. Horses exist all over the world, and the amount of fat they have can be changed by diet and grooming. Most of our horses get enough exercise so that they never have to worry about their fat making them too hot.
Provide the Right Environment
Every animal that a person takes care of has to be provided with the right environment. If you get a fish, you’ve got to put it in water, right?
Horses can be perfectly happy here in Florida if provided with the right environment. Shade is important, of course, and we have plenty of that here at our train riding center and horse riding school. Big fans are also important when the horses are in the stables, and misters are sometimes used to cool horses down.
Horse color can also play a big deal in how one of them reacts to the heat. While our brown horses might envy the white ones while in direct sunlight, you’ll notice that we don’t keep any black horses around. They’d absorb the heat more than any other!
Simply providing horses with enough water goes a long way to making them comfortable here in the Lake Worth area. Horses can drink around 20 gallons of water a day, so providing them with everything they need can keep them safe and healthy.
Did you know that horses dissipate heat in much the same way you do? While neither horses nor humans pant the way that dogs do, increased respiration is one way that heat is taken from inside the body and expelled. Horses also sweat, and from pretty much the same places as humans!
Keeping Horses Happy For Trail Riding
When a horse is uncomfortable, they find a way of telling us. So far they seem very happy here at our Lake Worth stables. Ready to come meet them? Contact us for horse riding classes or trail riding in Florida!