Welcome Summer

When I was young and spry, I took a hard line with air conditioning. I wasn’t about to waste money & energy on a little discomfort. Then one of our dogs got old. As a big, furry German Shepherd, she took the heat badly. So I would cool the house down to perk her up. After that, we had a series of geriatric dogs as the next one in line got older and more delicate. Now we have Dash. At less than a year old, he can impersonate a melting dog puddle even when the house is coolish. So, that’s why the AC is on these days. For the dogs.

I can’t help but prefer the house at a pleasant temperature. However, it makes it ever so much harder to leave my cool, dark cave to tromp up to the barn in bright, hot sunlight to voluntarily cover myself with dirt and sweat and horsehair.

How do you cope with summer? (Those of you living in Canada & New England are invited not to gloat.)

Categories: Barn Life, Dogs & Cats, Horses, Weather

11 replies »

  1. New England is no longer a summer paradise. Well, lower New England. Like everywhere else, our weather has been morphing into crap. This summer we’ve already had two official heat waves, the first beginning in mid-May with several days of temps in the mid 90’s accompanied by high humidity. We’re currently still in the midst of the second heat wave, and it’s already lasted a week. Used to be we got a handful of miserable days in late July or mid-August. I shudder to think what we’ll get now. The heat/humidity makes riding unhealthy if not downright dangerous. If the heat index doesn’t kill you, the biting bugs will. I’ve already seen horse flies the size of my Rat Terrier and I can’t walk to my barn without being bombarded by stinging deer flies. For the last five years I’ve been looking (literally) for the “ideal” place to retire so I ride … more. Given my criteria includes a place where the incidence of natural disasters are minimal with a riding season of at LEAST six months, I haven’t found paradise yet. You’d think I was asking for the moon! But I digress ….. how do I cope? I installed central air the spring after I started menopause. It was that or become a homicidal maniac. (I don’t make excuses and I don’t consider AC a luxury anymore. It’s just as much a necessity as having heat in the winter.) When it’s horribly hot I stagger out to the barn to do chores while repeating my mantra, “I’m almost done, I’m almost done.” Then I high-tail it back inside where I gaze at my horses from the comfort of my kitchen and try to devise a way to bring them in from the heat. I haven’t had any luck with that so I apologize to them a thousand times a day while I thank my lucky stars I wasn’t born a horse.

    • Good to hear from you, even if it is with bad news about the weather. College summers in NH used to be wonderful. Not immersed in a misty haze of nostalgia. Not at all.

    • I remember the New England deer flies. Ouch! Rumor had it that they all had assignments – 30 per native, 45 per tourist. And they were fast!

  2. Summer in the Deep South? My take is – hey, at a ritzy, fancy and costly spa I’d be paying through the nose for this. It’s a free sauna and I treat it as such. Rationalizing? Moi?????

  3. Can you tell it’s too hot and muggy to do anything else …. I’m posting twice! I had a nail business in ’82 or so. (Back then I never imagined women would still be spending money on fake nails. Go figure!) One of my favorite clients used to say her motto was, “We get four seasons in New England …. you can only bitch about one.” I try to remember that, really I do, but somewhere around late January I usually start ranting about being shut in, never seeing the sun shine and getting dumped on with lots of wet, heavy snow. So I’m changing the rules: We can bitch about two!

  4. That remark about Canada wouldn’t have been aimed at me, now, would it?

    Common fallacy. Summers are every bit as hot and sticky in Ontario as they are further south. They just don’t last quite as long. I’ve already had students wimping out of lessons because it’s (supposedly) too hot. Guess they don’t realize that if I don’t work, I don’t get paid, and when I don’t get paid I can’t keep the air conditioner running.

    • I’m one of those who wimps out on lessons when it gets too muggy and hot. But I pay for 6 lessons in advance and I give the trainer 2-3 days notice so she can fill my slot with some chipper little horse-crazy kid who doesn’t know enough to come in out of the pea soup. The barn has plenty of them … they’re all over the place like mice now that schools out. But now you’ve got me wondering if I’m doing my trainer a disservice?

      • When I lived in Los Angeles and rode in Topanga Canyon (can you say HOT in the summertime?) my advanced class rode at 6am or at 8pm. If you’re reasonably sensible about hydration and careful with your horse, there’s no reason why you can’t keep your trainer in business in the summertime. And think of it this way – all your pores are opening nicely and a shower will feel GOOD, even if it’s the hose at the barn.

  5. Fans and ice in my drinks and cotton clothes. You could put a spray hose near the barn to cool yourself off now and then and get rid of some of the horsehair. In the sun your clothes dry out pretty fast, even when they are still on you.

%d bloggers like this: