Doug makes every attempt to maintain a regular appointment schedule during the winter months. However, Mother Nature does not always cooperate and we have had to reschedule a fair share of appointments in previous years in order to adjust for bad winter weather. We do appreciate everyone's flexibility during these winter months in Michigan, which generally include late November, December, January, February, and usually the early part of March.
Cold temperatures are not simply a comfort concern. Cold temperatures affect the way equipment operates, and water used during the floating process can freeze on the tools (and in turn, freeze them to Doug's hands), in addition to creating a slipping hazard during the float procedure.
For the safety of the horse, the owner, and for Doug, we have the following policy in effect during the winter months:
Late November, December, January, February, early March*
A fully-enclosed barn with adequate footing (dry sand, stall shavings, or dirt) is REQUIRED for all appointments scheduled during late November, December, January, February, and (depending on the weather) the first 2-3 weeks of March. Doug will not float in mud or slush, on ice, or on bare surfaces such as mats, wood, or concrete.
Please note: Three-sided shelters are not fully-enclosed and are therefore insufficient for ensuring that Doug and the horse(s) are adequately protected and on safe enough footing for the float procedure. We regret that we cannot accommodate your appointment request if you do not have a fully-enclosed barn to float within during the winter months.
Appointments scheduled for other times of the year will always be weather-dependent if you do not have a enclosed area with safe, dry footing for Doug to work within. Whenever possible, yours would be the last appointment of the day so that if we need to reschedule you due to weather, the rescheduling will not impact other scheduled clients that day.
Temperatures below 15 degrees F*
If your barn is not heated, your appointment will be rescheduled.
When you request a winter appointment, you will be asked about your ability to provide Doug 5 gallons of VERY hot water. Doug carries a bucket heater with him, but that does not provide timely warm water if you have only 1-2 horses scheduled. Your efforts to be prepared for your appointment by having hot water readily available with your horse(s) caught and ready when Doug arrives are much appreciated.
*During an active winter storm, or at the prediction of one that would make road travel dangerous during the day,
Doug will reschedule appointments at his discretion.Your flexibility is appreciated.