Desert Horse-Keeping

From hydration to irrigation, learn how to combat challenges that come with caring for horses in arid climates.

No account yet? Register


Desert Horse-Keeping
Keeping horses in the desert presents a number of challenges, including keeping horses hydrated, preserving pasture, providing shelter from the elements, and more. | Photo: iStock

Combat challenges that come with caring for horses in arid climates.

Horse owners in cold, wet climates dread the springtime rain and mud that eventually breathe a rainbow of life back into their barren winter landscapes. But those residing where sun-and-saguaro, 100-degree heat is the norm deal with an entirely different set of challenges. By May, the rains—if they’ve materialized at all—have pretty much vaporized, paving the way for months of sun-baked soil and parched vegetation.

Yet not all desert is equal. Higher-elevation desert (think inland Northwest and Great Plains) deals with temperatures just as cold as—or colder than—those back east and down south. Large areas of the United States fall into the desert category, which is loosely defined as areas receiving less than 12 inches of rain per year

Create a free account with to view this content. is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.


Written by:

Diane Rice earned her bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism from the University of Wisconsin, then married her education with her lifelong passion for horses by working in editorial positions at Appaloosa Journal for 12 years. She has also served on the American Horse Publications’ board of directors. She now freelances in writing, editing, and proofreading. She lives in Middleton, Idaho, and spends her spare time gardening, reading, serving in her church, and spending time with her daughters, their families, and a myriad of her own and other people’s pets.

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

What do you think: Can pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID) be managed by medication alone?
156 votes · 156 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with!