Warning —- VERY graphic photos at bottom of this page.
What a difference a day makes..!
Yesterday, I posted a few fun images of our junior stallion throwing a tantrum. It was amusing, light hearted and typical of the type of daily challenge we face working with young horses.
However, today I feel compelled to share something rather less pleasant.
Last November we suffered a terrible catastrophe due to the irresponsible misuse of fireworks. We live in the heart of a village, surrounded by countryside. The open spaces that both bisect and surround the glorious part of the world are owned and managed by livestock farmers. We store hay, straw, diesel and a variety of flammable chemicals. More importantly we live for and by the welfare of our animals. Animals hate fireworks! They are frightened, panicked, have no understanding of the terrifying noise, lights and the sheer unexpected and unfamiliar horror of these unnecessary explosions.
On ‘Firework Night’ last year we lost a weaned foal, nearly lost a stallion, had many minor abrasions and had several mares abort their foetuses. The fireworks rained down on our farm, causing both fires and absolute pandemonium inside our barns housing the animals.
The following post that I made in anger went viral and I felt compelled to remove it as the arguments among those commenting became deeply unpleasant and dark.
Last night, for some inexplicable reason another neighbour made the decision to set off fireworks on the hill above our pasture currently home to over fifty horses grazing peacefully in various paddocks. They were huge, noisy and ferocious in their chaotic splitting of the night sky.
For twenty minutes all we could hear was the deafening sound of galloping hooves in the dark, the horses ran blind in their confusion and fear. They ran into fences and each other, foals were toppled to the ground in the melee.
Our youngsters paddock was the worst, the furthest from the house and the closest to the fireworks, they either ran or jumped the fences seeking sanctuary in another neighbours garden.
We have many with cuts and bruising, a young two year old stallion prospect is on three legs with horrendous fetlock swelling, some are worse than others but by and large we were lucky to not have worse.
We have spent the day bringing horses in and out for treatment, the wonderful Emma Travis of Cheltenham Equine Vets gave up her sunday morning with her family and treated each patient.
The worst affected, was a yearling called Spider. He is a lovely natured and very beautiful black gelding who was due to be vetted for a sale pending. He will be staying here now until his injuries have healed. He will always be scarred and his recuperation will be lengthy. I am posting photos which are more graphic in the comments as I believe that it is personal choice as to whether anyone wishes to view the results of our neighbours fun!
Please can everyone think before setting off fireworks? They can cause terrible damage and fear. Thank you.
This is Spider, he is 1 year old.
Can you imagine his fear? Can you imagine his pain?
Are back garden, domestic fireworks really worth it?