As I write this, the weather is unseasonably hot, which brings new challenges in caring for the horses.

Diva, Mabel and Flo have been turned out 24/7 since the overnight temperatures became mild. Mabel and Diva love it, but Florence likes her comforts and so would most likely prefer to come in at night.

I am lucky in that my field has two mature trees that offer excellent shade for the horses. Florence loves the heat and is often in full sun while the other two snooze under the tree. Many fields are much more open and lacking in shade. It isn’t always possible to put a field shelter up, so you need to look at other ways to provide a little shade. One relatively easy thing is to put tall fence panels on the corners of the field, which can provide some shade without the expense of a shelter. They are great as a windbreak too.

Of my three equines, only Florence wears a fly sheet as she is quite sensitive to fly bites and midges, and she wears a fly mask with nose net as this prevents her white nose burning. She is a bit of a needy child! Diva has a mask this year as there were a lot of flies getting near her eyes. Mabel, however, just rubs any mask off, no matter the make / style etc.

I check them twice daily, and after poo-picking the field I often lean on the gate and just watch them for a while. Diva had a drink one morning as I was watching, and when she finished, she kept opening her mouth and working her tongue; something was clearly bothering her. She trotted off down the field and tried to eat some grass, but did the same thing. She will be three on the 13th of July, and so I suspected that a loose baby tooth might be the cause.

She let me take hold of her tongue, which enabled me to take a look in her mouth without the risk of getting bitten accidentally. There it was: the first cheek tooth on the left side hanging on by a thread. A little tug and out it came. I didn’t find any of her front teeth when the adult ones came through, so I was pleased to have this one. She was instantly comfortable and made short work of getting back to grazing. After the wet winter we endured, I can’t believe that I am hoping for some rain to get the grass growing!

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