It's interesting to go back and read last year's replies; especially my own as much has changed.
This year our 22 acres looked like parchment paper until a few days ago. We haven't had to bushhog since the end of April.
The horse in my avatar is now coming 25. He has Equine Metabolic Syndrome, hind gut ulcers and the vet is suspicious the reason he colicked four times in as many months is because he may have lipomas in his digestive tract.
I said all that to say, I was watching him up on the ridge on a day we hit over 100 with the "feels like" at 111. He was acting funny in his stall that AM. Sure enough down he went at 1:30.
I went out on the 4-wheeler with Banamine and halter in-hand. It took me a good four minutes to get him up and convince him to move the 1,000+ feet down that steep hill to the barn.
From that point, until we got a good rain two days ago, I locked everyone in the front three acres and hayed them like it was winter.
He's been fine ever since and I theorize the reasons he has been fine are:
1. I took his grazing muzzle off because he wasn't getting anything to eat in that parched pasture.
2. He's the alpha horse and won't bring the herd up for water until his designated time of 2:30 PM.
This horse and the other three doubled their water consumption once they were forced to say on the front three acres.
Yes, they get electrolytes and salt added to their feed pans, eventhough there's salt blocks by both water stations. I add water to their supplements, I feed this colicky horse well soaked tim/alfalfa cubes every day.
But all that didn't do a bit of good because he stayed out in that blistering heat and would not come up for water.
They stayed locked in the front until we finally got enough rain to start the grass back green again. Green grass equals moisture, but I still watch him and the others closely and I still put a bit of hay under the trees behind the barn every afternoon to force them to stay in the shade.
I have never handled the heat very well but that gets worse as I get older. I wear a cooling vest and a kerchief full of ice cubes, around my neck, when I have to go outside. If I didn't, Mr. WTW would've found me lying beside Duke when I went up on the ridge to get him the day he colicked.
Hay -----------ack. Hay's at a premium with all this drought. That's a whole 'nuther subject that ought to have a separate thread for those that aren't paying attention and will start wondering why the price of everything they feed may soon be going up.
Last I looked at the drought map there are 20 states in some degree of drought. Not good for hay, corn, soy, and other crops that feed not only livestock but humans.