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.
Many problems beset the desert horse owner: How can you protect your horse from strength-sapping heat and dehydration? How can you maintain quality pasture and conserve natural resources? How can you guard against sunburn- and cancer-causing ultraviolet (UV) rays and the diseases and dangers that threaten in bone-dry
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