Morning feeding: Phil was polite. Mother Nature stepped in an offered a wonderful lesson…rain. Phil was very agitated with the big rain drops falling on him. He tensed his body, shook his head, tucked his tail, and humped his back. Phil’s pen has thick, mature tree cover, but doesn’t completely shelter him from the aggravating rain. As long as Phil was not in distress the best lesson he could learn is how to be a horse.
If I am at a show or on a trail ride far from home and it rains or storms I want to have a steadfast mount. The footing and slick saddle are difficult enough to deal with I personally don’t want to have to negotiate with a horse that is having a mental meltdown due to rain. Phil stayed out in the pouring rain all day. He was still alive at feeding.
Evening feeding: Phil was already irritated at having to stay in the rain and he showed a little “ugly” at feeding. I sent him off around the pen and he trotted in the most peculiar fashion. He tucked his head between his front legs and arched his back. I also was wearing a big, yellow rain jacket that most horses do not really like. I pulled the hood down so he could see that it was me and he snorted (snort is fear or excitement). I sent him off again and asked him to circle in. I walked around him and he kept “two eyes” on me. I asked him to back, turn on haunches, disengage hindquarters. He softened and I rubbed his head.
Note: Some breeds like the thoroughbred cannot regulate their body temps as well as other breeds. It is best to keep your horse outside as much as possible, but if he is in distress such as shivering he needs to get out of the weather. I’ll check Phil tonight to see if he needs to come in to a stall. If he is ok, I’ll give him more hay and let him learn to tolerate Mother Nature. Hay will help increase body heat.