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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,
I love horses and horse riding is very important part of my life. I've been leasing and riding horses for over 4 years now in US. I'm moving back to my home country for few years due to work and there are no horses in 100 mile radius of where I'll be living. I've been thinking of the practicality of keeping a horse in tropical climates. In summer temps can get to 120F with lot of humidity and the least it ever gets is 60F on a December night. In monsoon season, it can rain for days and get really muddy 3-4 months of the year as the soil is soft here with no rocks. My house is on 2.5 acres of land and I've another 20 acres few miles away where we farm and I can grow hay.

I know what it takes to care for the animals as I grew up on a farm and we still have our family cows and never bought a gallon of milk there.
I'm very well aware that animal care is 24/7 and not 8-5 job and willing to do what it takes.

I know this is all sounds a bit odd, but as I've previously said, for me, it's heart that wins over mind when it comes to horses.

Is it practical to keep horses here? What are the problems I can expect with prolonged humid conditions for hoofs, coat or anything in general?

Thank you for your time and I'm sorry about the long post.
 

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1. I'm assuming the family dairy cows are in the country you are moving back to?

If so, who does the veterinary care on your cattle? Is that person capable of caring for a horse under any emergency circumstances?

I.E. stitching the horse up, tubing the horse for serious colic, knowing what to vaccinate the horse against in those tropical conditions, etc etc.

2. Are you able to do the hoof trimming? If not, who is going to keep the horse's hooves trimmed which, also aides in keeping them healthy in your humid conditions.

You may have excessive hoof issues if the horse is subjected to constant mud and doesn't have a place to get dry at least 8 hours out of a 24 hour period. Are you knowledgeable enough to deal with that? Will you have access to the proper medications?

3. The "tropical" weather we have experienced this summer in southern Middle Tennessee can't begin to compare with wherever you are going to back to live.

For me, it was pure h**l. I have two senior horses that needed extra care in all that heat/humidity. They sweat at the mere mention of the word. Lots of clean fresh water and they went thru double the salt blocks this summer than what is normal.

So lots of white salt (cow salt).

More forage than feed pan stuff.

120 degrees is brutal no matter how much humidity is or isn't rolled into that number. I wouldn't do it; my primary concern would be getting the professional help even the most remote of place in the United States take for granted:-(

There may be a few good reasons why there aren't any horses within 100 miles of where you're moving back to:(
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
walkinthewalk,
Thanks for taking time to post with all the valid points and concerns.
You are right, we have cows where I'm hoping to keep horses.
1) The vets that care for the cows are trained in school on horses as well it's just that there aren't any horses around. The vet we use is very passionate about his job and he usually arrives within 15-30 min 24/7. He says if I get a horse that is born and raised in this weather, it will do fine, with lot of care of course.
2) I do hoof trimming (been doing that for a while now)and if they need shoes, or special care there are people who travel to you and do it for reasonable charge.
I know the weather is not fun, but it is what it is.. But there is miles of pristine beach and miles of river bed with sandy beach half mile from home.

Is keeping them in stall (concrete floor with bedding) overnight and turning them out during days a good idea or is it supposed to be other way around considering the sun and heat during the day.

Thanks again for your help...
 

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Personally, I would not stall a horse at all during that weather, as long as they have acces to shade, water and forage. If you have the knowledge and resources, I say go for it. If you MUST stall them, make sure thir s adequate airflow, and I would do nighttime turnout.
 
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Oh, and DO NOT STALL HORSES ON CONCRETE. I don't are how much bedding. It's not only are on the suspensory system, I have personally seen horses who have done splits on the concrete and bled out internally. Lay rubber Stall mats down on it for safety's sake.
 

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I also say go for it, under the conditions you iterated:D

I also agree with not shutting the horse up. Is it possible to allow the stall to be a run-in so the horse can come and go as it pleases?

Concrete is bad for a horse - I'll bet the cows are all on concrete runs - lol

If you do make a stall for the horse on concrete, can you get mats? Mats would help immensely, to keep the horse from stocking up. If you have access to shavings, you could put the shavings on top of the mats.

Again, if possible, a run-in stall would be the ideal thing:D

Ok, this Inquiring Mind wants to know:

You obviously like Marwari's -- is that what you would be getting? Are they common in your home country?

I know very little about Marwari's but those curled ears sure are appealing. It would be hard to correct a horse staring at you with those ears:p
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Oh, and DO NOT STALL HORSES ON CONCRETE.
Thanks for your posts and I apologize for the delay, working this weekend.
Yes, we use rubber mats for cows now and concrete beneath is not smooth. It is grippy with small pebbles on top. Still, my plan is to use rubber mats with wood shavings or straw on top.
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:eek:fftopic:
lol... But every body in Ireland uses concrete! Including me! :p
Then again, my horses are only stabled during the day, when we're going to ride them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I also say go for it, under the conditions you iterated:D

You obviously like Marwari's -- is that what you would be getting? Are they common in your home country?

I know very little about Marwari's but those curled ears sure are appealing. It would be hard to correct a horse staring at you with those ears:p
Thanks, an yes, the stall/barn at the moment has no locking mechanism as we just tie the cows when we milk them. So run in isn't a problem.

And yes, I've my heart set on Marwaris and those are what I'll own. It's very hard to find a well trained one and they start above $6k, that's the only down side :(
It's not a very common breed there as most of the horses we see are cross breeds and ottbs.
Pure Marwaris are only available from some elite breeders (read old money stinking rich) and they don't even negotiate, doesn't matter the temperament, confirmation or traing.
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
:eek:fftopic:
lol... But every body in Ireland uses concrete! Including me! :p .
Lucky you, I've heard riding in the Ireland countryside is heavenly. Do you do trail rides?
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Very sorry for hijacking your thread btw :p
Anyway, yes I do... I hack out (that's what we call trail riding here ;)) quite a lot. It's brilliant fun... Except when it's raining.... Which is basically every day!
I'll creep away now and let you continue with your discussion!
 

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My area gets a LOT of rain, but not really monsoons, and certainly never that hot.

To me, your biggest problems will be:
1) Heat
2) Infections: hoof and skin. At least, those are our problems!

Generally, we like the horses OUT at night, and they come in by themselves during the day. I try to encourage them to dry their feet out for several hours a day at least by keeping straw in the dry stall; they like to play with it. But we also use raincoats, which might be too hot in your conditions.

If it gets very muggy, can you rig up a fan?

Also note: your hay will probably need to be tested, so you can give correct supplements. It goes a long way to keeping diease down.

Good luck! I know that horse love is incurable...:)
 

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I think the key is as your vet said to get a horse that was born and raised in that climate and is used to it. Sounds like there are plenty of horses around if you find the right spots! So someone is doing it no problem, I would ask with some of the horses you look at any specific environmental (in addition to regular) care they give (wether overall or just for that horse)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Beling,
Thanks, coat and hoof is what I'm worried about.
Hoping 12 hours in dry stall a dry helps on long monsoon months and yes, we do have fans already as cows can't do without them.

There is no horse ready hay in the area now and I'm planning to grow it couple of months before I brig horses in.

I know all of this doesn't make a sense for normal sane person and that was the reason there are no horses in the area. For me life is not complete without horses and friends and family are thinking I've gone crazy, they diagnosed it to some frozen brain due to cold weather in north east US :)
 

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1. Curious that there are plenty of cows and not a horse within 100 miles. So the question becomes have people in the region ever had horses? Other than some islands I don't think I've ever heard of a country that has a standing human population, but no equines :lol:.

2. Horses can survive in a variety of climates. From the Iceland to Arabia (which has real lack of grazing and water issues) there have been horses. You'll find horses in Central America and northern South America which have hot, humid, tropical climates.

3. Horses can do fine in wet climates. You just need to be aware of things. You don't have to check their feet every day, but you'll find it useful to clean and check them at least every other day. You can also use preventative practices for things like thrush (e.g. have a spay bottle of vinegar and water to rinse the frog with after you clean the feet).
Be aware that if the horse is new to that climate you'll have a chance of having to deal with anhidrosis. Often it's just temporary (meaning it can improve over time, but it can take a few years to reach a normal sweat level again), but it can also be permanent.

Just because the conditions might not be what most see as text book perfect for horses doesn't mean that horses can't do well. Horses are kept in arid places where sand colic can be a potential problem. Wet places where thee can be issues with the feet and scratches. Places with great pastures and with lush grass where you have to worry about foundering. Any place where people keep horses poses it's own potential problems. In most cases people create more problems than the climate :lol: (feeding grain, blanketing, keeping them in stalls, having them shod, etc.....).
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi its lbs not miles,
Thanks for taking your time for this long informative and encouraging post. That gives me lot if assurance.

While growing up in that area as a child, the only horses I saw were statues. There were horses while British were ruling, until about 70 years ago (I only heard about it).
Now it's a rural farming area and due to their busy life and economic conditions, most people do not have time or passion to care for horses.
Few years ago some private school wanted to introduce riding lessons and the guy went to northern India (much much colder and drier) and got few tbs right off of racetrack.
They had to be kept in airconditioned stalls which they were used to, and within a year all of them perished.

That's the reason I'm more concerned and want to do all I can to reduce issues.
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Hi its lbs not miles,
Thanks for taking your time for this long informative and encouraging post. That gives me lot if assurance.

While growing up in that area as a child, the only horses I saw were statues. There were horses while British were ruling, until about 70 years ago (I only heard about it).
Now it's a rural farming area and due to their busy life and economic conditions, most people do not have time or passion to care for horses.
Few years ago some private school wanted to introduce riding lessons and the guy went to northern India (much much colder and drier) and got few tbs right off of racetrack.
They had to be kept in airconditioned stalls which they were used to, and within a year all of them perished.

That's the reason I'm more concerned and want to do all I can to reduce issues.
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Not to disillusion you, but it can be a lot of work. Where I live today is subtropical and wet (except for the drought that appears to have ended last year). So to give you an example of what it can be like.
On the heat side:
When I moved my older mare here she suffered from anhidrosis the first year to the point that I was concerned that it might be permanent since during some of the hottest 40+ C days she still did not sweat. I had to insure she did most of her grazing the shade of the trees, hosed her legs down (legs are where their blood vessels are closest to the surface), set up a fan at the hay feeder (where she spent most of her time, checked her temperature twice a day and made her go into the pond if it got to high.
The following year she didn't do much better. A little sweat (i.e. a slight bit of dampness on part of the neck). She did sweat a little more before the weather turned hot though. With the temperatures too hot to ride (which is most of our Summer) she had basically no real sweat, while my younger mare, also grazing in the shade sweated so much her hoofs were wet with the sweat running off her legs. Third year was when things finally started to improve and she would have a nice wet chest on really not days. Not as much as the younger mare, but enough that I knew she wasn't going to suffer with this condition forever and things were getting better.

Because it's wet if I get a horse and it has a case of thrush I usually end up spending a couple of months doing daily cleanings with vinegar rinses and if it's in a pocket (too deep for cutting away) a lot of tea tree oil packed in with cotton.

There's also the risk of white line issues that can start up where the nail tip exited the hoof. Never a fun thing, but in a wet climate it's a lot more work. Especially when the nasty things causing the problem love wet and warm conditions. I've spent months and months getting things like that fixed on horses that had been shod (but they aren't anymore :lol:). I've found that for most people it only takes one case of having to debrade their horse's hoof to make believers out of them :lol:. Of course it's more common to have white line issues at the bottom, but regular cleaning and checking can head those off before they start.

Yes, you'll discover that it's a lot of work. But it's certainly doable.

Of course if you were in Alaska or Arabia you'd have very different issues to deal with, but there would still be things unique to that environment that would have to be dealt with.
 

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Hi,
I live in India and take care of 9 horses their with my friend. We have concrete stable floor for shelter and feeding but most of the time they are in a corral with sand and grass ground, since we keep them together in a herd. Definitely one has to have proper roofing for the monsoon or you will have wet horses. Other wise our horses are barefoot and we only need to be a bit more careful about their hooves in the monsoon but other wise it is fine. One thing that is irritating is that leather tack molds really fast! I know another riding school where I live where they have horses from abroad which need a fan or AC. But we have 1 marwari and 1 kathiavari horse and another mix between haflinger(i think, or Thoroughbred) with kathiawari who all cope well with the cimate, the rest are all ponies (don't know breed) who also do good. As long as you don't import from cold countries i think they should all be fine. Where I stay their are 3 other riding schools and at least 3 people who keep 3 or 4 horses and they are all doing good. And I stay in Tamil Nadu which is pretty hot and humid. Basically, you shouldn't be worried.

I hoped it helped
 
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