Your Climate's Horsekeeping Challenges

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Like most of us, I tend to get inured to the everyday horsekeeping issues created by my area's climate. For instance, since I live in northern Idaho, near the western foothills of the Rockies, I expect to deal with wet winters (translation--nine months of mud), and to be rewarded for all the inherent inconveniences, with temperate, relatively bug-free summers.

But after spending last weekend with a longtime horse friend now based in Arizona, I was struck by how the vastly different climate contributes to a vastly different sort of horsekeeping. While I'm worrying about having horses lose shoes by going out in the mud, she's having to think about such matters as prevention of sand colic, and encounters with rattlesnakes. Whereas I probably spend more time on barn maintenance as I do in the saddle, she doesn't even need a barn in the first place. A simple shaded structure serves all her horsekeeping needs quite well.

I sometimes have to chop ice from water tanks. She never does. She has to know how to deal with poisonous varmints. I never do. I buy horse blankets seemingly by the ton. She buys of flyspray and sunscreen seemingly by the gallon. I spend three-quarters of the year riding with ear warmers. She spends every day of the year riding with sunglasses.

Different climates. Different horselives.

How's yours compare?