MONROE, N.C. (WBTV) - It is too hot for horses to be out in the sun too long, let alone working in it.
“The heat, all bets are off,” Bridger Medlin says. “We typically don’t let any horse work over 90 degrees.”
But it has been hard to hunt down a day less than 90 where his Monroe-based carriage company Country Carriage Rides at Southern Breezes Farm operates, across the Carolinas.
“We missed a lot of work this summer,” Medlin says. “Just because we personally think it’s too hot to work them.”
He says the next step after a thin summer would be making it up in the fall, but so far, fall is out of sight.
“I’ve been in business for 20 years,” Medlin says. “And this is the worst year weather-wise that we’ve ever had to endure.”
Starting with a rainy spring, then a scorching summer, it has been tough, financially.
“That nest egg is no longer,” Medlin says, laughing.
He and his team keep having to reschedule their annual fundraiser for US Equine Rescue League, Central Piedmont.
“We just couldn’t in good conscience keep the horses out in 93-degree weather, when we’re actually trying to get money donated to help horses,” Medlin says.
This weekend, he cancelled three profitable local events.
“No one’s going to want to be out in that heat,” he says. “Secondly, I don’t want my horses to be out in that heat, and at the end of the day it portrays a bad image on my industry.”
To him, it is more important to keep these animals safe, than save the bottom line.
“[I’ve] never had a horse injured, got too hot, any of that, and I want to keep it that way,” he says.
The next big hope is the Christmas season – usually a good money-maker for companies like this. Then, a hope that next year, Mother Nature is a bit kinder.