It’s official: January-June period in the first half of 2012 in the lower 48 US States on record. This includes records kept all the way back to 1895. In fact, the temperatures actually averaged 4/5 degrees higher than the long term average according to a report issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric administration (NOAA). What does this mean for equestrians in Colorado?
Colorado has been particularly dry as evidenced by the large number of recent fires in the state, but Colorado is not alone and many states are facing some of the driest seasons on record. For equestrians this means careful use of water resources. For those who rely on paddocks to provide much of the feed for their horse stock, this could be a difficult year with so many concerns over water. It could also mean that the cost of feed to supplement grazing could increase because lack of water to grow suitable crops. It’s important that horse owners and equestrian land owners keep this in mind when planning for feed over the next several months.
Besides the questions of availability of water to keep paddocks growing and grow feed for horses, keep in mind that horses may need additional water for the warm weather months. It’s important to ensure that water is available at all times, so it’s best to have an automatic system that refills troughs when necessary rather than relying on human intervention. A horse suffering from dehydration can quickly become very ill.
Because this is the warmest year on record, riders need to be especially mindful of ensuring that their horses’ water needs are met. Also take a close look at feed availability as the weather warms and water becomes more scarce to use on paddocks and crops for animals.