Friday, 4 November 2011

Fireworks Fear!

Hi Everyone! How exciting that its bonfire night tomorrow........ only not so exciting for us horses! We're pretty scared of fireworks, and each year it seems to get a bit worse with more and more fireworks set off around us. Some of the older horses are quite calm about it, and just keep munching their hay, but some of us get so stressed out we need to be sedated by the vet.
We understand that everyone enjoys fireworks night, but wish that people would go to an organised display, or at least let us know if they are going to put fireworks off next to us - so that we can get our ear plugs in and have our staff with us to keep us happy. Unfortunately lots of people don't think to say, so whilst they are having fun in their gardens round Milltimber, us lot are quaking in fear at the farm!
We had several incidents last year when the nursing home at Tornadee (right next door to the paddock) decided to have a big fireworks display. Unfortunately, they decided that the best place to set their fireworks off was behind the wall next to the paddock, so the fireworks came flying over the paddock and the stables that are beside them. We had to call the vet for one horse, and two of the school mares cut their legs as they were in the field beside Tornadee and were galloping about in a blind panic. We contacted the home after the fireworks display to explain the problem, and ask if they could avoid doing it the next year. They agreed that they would discuss it at a meeting and let us know asap if they intended to do a display again in 2011.
Unfortunately, they decided that it was best to have another display this year, despite several polite letters from us and us offering to go and explain to the residents why it is so scary for livestock. Luckily, the new owners of the site have agreed that it is far more sensible to have the display at the Western boundary of their property, rather than over our paddock, so that is a help at least. Having spoken to the council and the police over the last year about it, it is worrying that there is no legislation in place to prevent people letting fireworks off right next door to livestock, but we will just need to keep our fingers crossed that the horses cope tonight and tomorrow night. We have sedation, radios and staff at the ready to deal with it!
More refreshingly, Albyn School PTA have been excellent, and wrote us a very informative letter detailing exactly when their display was at the Milltimber playing fields, which makes it much easier for us to prepare for it. If only everyone thought to do this, life would be a lot easier for our furry friends at this time of year!
On a sadder note, Timone does not seem to be responding well to his recent treatment and medication for his athritis - he is now lame again when being ridden, so we have taken him into his stable and will get Mark to come and see him when he returns from his holiday, as he assessed Timone in the first place. We're not willing to put Timone through having more and more treatment, as he is 15 years old now, and has been a really good horse for us - we think he's owe either a good retirement, or to be put to sleep, so will take the vets advice when he returns and keep everyone updated.
Thats all for now!
oh - nearly forgot! Martin has bought himself a horse from Ireland! Its in isolation at the moment, but is called Bailey and is a big 16.2h.h. chestnut gelding of Irish Draft cross. He's very handsome, and unbacked so you will all see Martin doing lots of lunging and long reining over the next few days and weeks before he jumps onboard!


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