I was admittedly a little worried about moving Henry to Florida.
Mainly because of the weather. He struggles in heat and humidity, and was basically miserable from May through October in Texas. Like, huffing and puffing all day even under multiple fans, didn’t sweat very well, etc. So I was really worried about how he’d handle the humidity of this area.
What I failed to really take into account is that Texas, at least where we were, is just as damn humid as Florida. It’d be 85 degrees with 98% humidity at 7am, and even when the intense heat burned off some of the humidity, the heat itself was just so incredibly brutal. There was no relief from it until the sun went down (at which point, cue the rise in humidity again). The weather was already starting to do that in Texas by the end of April, setting itself up for an extra long and miserable summer. It has been considerably more pleasant these past few weeks we’ve been in Florida than it was in Texas last month.
It’s humid here, for sure, don’t get me wrong. I’m covered in sweat by the time I’m done riding every morning. That’s not at all new though, it was the same way in Texas. I’m used to moist air. What’s different, and I think what makes the difference, is that the heat just isn’t as intense. Even if it’s the same temperature it doesn’t have that “rip the air out of your lungs” baking suffocating intensity that the Texas heat has. And it’s definitely not as unrelenting either… most afternoons some clouds roll in and make it downright pleasant, even if it’s warm. And when they don’t, it still cools off significantly in the early evening, with a nice little breeze (not a “rip your goddamn eyeballs right out of your head” wind like Texas loves to feature). So even in the heat of the day, Henry stands and naps under the trees in his turnout, and has had no issues at all yet. Not even a hint of a huff or a puff. And the heat of the day isn’t like, 8 hours long anymore. He’s been much happier and is coping way better than I would have imagined.
Granted, I know it’s only the end of May and things will definitely only get hotter, but the fact that it IS the end of May and he’s still this happy with zero signs of struggle… that in itself is so much better. Normally he’d have been on the struggle bus for a few weeks already by now.
The other interesting thing (that I had not accounted for at all) is how much better he feels on this softer ground. The ground in Texas is hard and rocky pretty much all the time, even though he lived on one of the best soils you could find in that area. Still… it was just hard ground. Here the ground is so sandy and springy and soft… it feels like he’s aged backwards 5 years. He’s felt absolutely fantastic since we got here, and we were even able to pull the pads out of his shoeing setup last week. He’s done a whole Benjamin Button thing since becoming a Florida horse basically – def not 15 years old anymore, I think we’ve reset back to 10. Which of course makes me absolutely delighted.
We’ll see how he does as summer ramps up for real, especially with his skin. That was my other concern here. So far so good, but I’m being pretty diligent. Henry and Gemma both have really sensitive skin. Of course, the only issue I’ve actually had so far is Presto’s little pink nose getting sunburned since he likes to nap in the sand pit in his pasture in the afternoon sun for literally hours. Had to get him some stuff to put on his poor lil nose!
I haven’t felt like I’ve needed fly sheets so far either, which I’m glad about. I was worried the bugs would be so unrelenting that I wouldn’t have a choice, but so far daily fumigations with Pyranha and Swat have worked pretty well at keeping the bugs off. I think we’re all glad to have escaped the horrible bot flies that were so bad in Texas in the spring… they drove Henry NUTS, he would start running frantic circles in the pasture to try to escape them, and they weren’t deterred by any fly spray. Horrid things.
Fingers crossed, but so far so good with their general acclimation to Florida, especially Henry. Would would have thunk it?