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View Full Version : First year having horses in town, worried about fireworks



Meredith Clark
Jul. 4, 2010, 12:12 AM
I LOVE having my horses in town. They are so close to my apartment so I have the best of both worlds.

However.. this is the first year they will be in town on the 4th of July and my town has a HUGE fireworks display at dusk.

There's 3 of them (OTTB geldings 11,9 and 7). The 7 year old is actually the most bomb proof with the eldest (Jay) being the fruit loop of the group.

They are in a 5 acre field the fencing is electric tape in front of high tensile (don't like the high tensile but I rent the place so I put the electric in front with T-post, they respect it and I've never had a problem)

I have a little barn with 1 stall and 2 run ins. I have gates to put in front of the run ins in the event all 3 would be injured at once and they'd have to stay in (which has NEVER happened thank god! :lol: ) but i've heard it's better to leave them out.

I also read an article that it's better NOT to sedate them and Jay has been known to blow through ACE and it's not pretty.

Considering I don't live on the property and this is their first time in town what would you guys do? There have a been a few preemptive fire works this evening but not sure if it will be enough to desensitize them .

atlatl
Jul. 4, 2010, 12:37 AM
If you're really worried, go to the barn and sit it out with them.

We have a couple of folks at our barn who do this every year.

Meredith Clark
Jul. 4, 2010, 12:43 AM
I could do that.. I never really understood the point in fireworks anyway! Esp people who take pictures of them (no offense!) :lol:

Just not sure I'd be able to do anything if they did get upset, stand in front of the fence and wave my arms?

ToiRider
Jul. 4, 2010, 01:19 AM
Well, I can speak to this, as of tonight. Last July I bought a 6 acre farm about two miles from a growing town. Some day I'm sure I'll be surrounded by subdivisions, but for now it is still country. However, if I look past the dairy farm behind me I can see town. Tonight, I got to watch 5 different small towns all have their fireworks display at the same time. One was quite close, and we could even smell the fireworks. Of course, the first big blast caught me unaware and happened at dusk as I was removing my mare's fly mask. Thank God she respects me enough to wait until after I finished taking the mask off to have her little freak out. Both she and the gelding were concerned for a few minutes and ran around the pasture a little bit, but then they calmed down AND WATCHED THE FIREWORKS. I sat on my deck and watched, and periodically checked on them by shining my flashlight into the field. They were standing side by side, facing the fireworks. I think it was a great training experience for them, and overall they handled it very well.

Meredith Clark
Jul. 4, 2010, 01:29 AM
Thanks Toi!

That's good to know, I don't really want to stall them especially because the one run in shed I would have to shut someone in doesn't have a good view of the 2 other stalls so which ever one would be "alone".

Also (and this is my crazy worried side) with fireworks so close (and hill billies with their own fireworks even closer) what if the barn caught on fire or something? :no:

atlatl
Jul. 4, 2010, 10:01 AM
I could do that.. I never really understood the point in fireworks anyway! Esp people who take pictures of them (no offense!) :lol:


Some of the best sale pictures I ever saw were of a gelding a friend was selling. She was riding a Western Riding pattern on him at the Orange Country fairgrounds with fireworks going off in the background.

saddleup
Jul. 4, 2010, 10:49 AM
Here the neighborhood fireworks will go three nights..last night, tonight, and tomorrow, just because they CAN. I leave my horses out, and after the initial boom they pretty much just mill about. The first year here I went out and sat in a folding chair right next to the fence. It actually warmed my heart to see them settle down because "Mom" had arrived.

I have one gelding that never really handles things that well when there's any sort of change in his environment. He's 20 and not the brightest bulb, if you know what I mean. But he takes comfort when I'm out there, so I keep an eye out and if I see him racing around I'll go out and keep him company.

nextyear
Jul. 4, 2010, 10:56 AM
I could do that.. I never really understood the point in fireworks anyway! Esp people who take pictures of them (no offense!) :lol:

Just not sure I'd be able to do anything if they did get upset, stand in front of the fence and wave my arms?

I never understood it either....I have neighbors who will set them off at random holidays and it terrorizes about 1/3 of my horses and 1 dog.
Some of the horses are OK in the pasture and others need to come in the barn, I have to close up the windows that face the action and turn the radio up full blast.
Every year here there are several horses in our area that get severe injuries, usually impaling themselves on fence posts, HATE fireworks!!!!

susanne
Jul. 4, 2010, 12:23 PM
When we first had horses, we lived in a very urban neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. (Yay, Portland -- any "livestock" permitted so long as they are 50 feet from any house.)

Our next-door neighbor set off massive displays of illegal fireworks every 4th of July and New Years. We were a bit worried about how our horses would react, so we stayed out with the horses. Their reaction? They just stood there watching. I swear I heard Mingus say, "Cool, dude!"

Be prepared for anything, but don't communicate your anxieties to them.

pj
Jul. 4, 2010, 12:43 PM
, but then they calmed down AND WATCHED THE FIREWORKS. I sat on my deck and watched, and periodically checked on them by shining my flashlight into the field. They were standing side by side, facing the fireworks. I think it was a great training experience for them, and overall they handled it very well.

LOL that's what my two did. They watched the whole CLOSE display and there were some dozys. My across the road neighbor did themselves up proud last night...pin wheels spinning through the sky, stars galore, etc, and lots of big bangs.
One smaller one did startle my guys for a few seconds, it was one with a LOUD "eeeeeeeeee" before the big bang. Guess all my target practice has been a good thing.
This was the first year we've had fire works close so I was prepared to do something (not sure what) if my guys had been upset. I'm so glad they weren't.

cowgirljenn
Jul. 4, 2010, 01:40 PM
My husband loves shooting off fireworks, so my horses are used to it. I always worry a little bit about whatever rescue horse I have at the time. We're not doing any ourselves this year, but they're going off around us. I saw the rescue mare last night watching a pretty impressive fireworks show (heck, I was watching with her ;)). I think it may help that my guys don't care - and it rubs off on the others. The only time I've had a problem was at a boarding barn. My guys were stalled and could hear the huge booms! and smell the smoke from the idiots who were shooting fireworks off TOWARDS THE BARN (neighbors of the barn). I gave them a lot of extra hay and they settled down. I think it was scary because they could hear and smell them but not see what was going on..

Jaegermonster
Jul. 4, 2010, 02:55 PM
My suggestion a couple of months ago, since July 4, and New Years Eve as well (hint) come the same time every year, would have been to go get some small firecrackers and noisemakers etc and begin desensitizing your horses. Obviously it is a little late now, just about your only options are earplugs and ace.

A suggestion: next week when all that stuff starts going on sale, go stock up on sparklers, smoke bombs, poppers etc and work with your horses.
Last time I did it, I actually found some 6' tall sparklers that I was eventually able to put in a row of about 10 spaced apart and ride through them. I got a friend to help with smoke bombs, small firecrackers etc.

I had a professional fireworks display go right over the top of my house last night and the horses were fine, in the pasture.

subk
Jul. 4, 2010, 04:25 PM
I tried to keep mine up last year and this year I turned them out. Out was better than up. Across the river from us a local club does a show less than 1/4 --1/2 mile from my barn and last night was their night. The horses ran around a little last night, but not anything that the youngster doesn't initiate on a regular occasion, but they were never panicked.

I think I've over thought it all in the past...

lesson junkie
Jul. 4, 2010, 04:41 PM
I'll be sure to leave plenty of hay near the run in shed. The one guy who doesn't like the noise seems to do better out than kept up, so that's what happens.

Meredith Clark
Jul. 4, 2010, 11:33 PM
I did leave them out and checked on them after the fire works were done and they were fine!

Not even sweaty like they'd be running or anything. :)

fivehorses
Jul. 5, 2010, 10:38 AM
Well, I had a fireworks display, one on the northside of my farm, and the other on the south side when the north side was done. Two different neighbors. Both less than a 1/4 mile. Lots of lights, and big booms.

Funny, the horses were a bit put off. They had never experienced the south side fireworks, and that scared them. But the north side, the guy constantly shoots guns, cannons, so the horses were like, yeah, it him. But, they freaked when the other neighbor had the booms and the display.

It seems every year they get more intense with lots of booming for three days.
I stayed out with them. I let my nervous guy and his buddy out, but put the others in as they are use to. I think the two felt better and more comfortable outside their stall with lots of space to run if need be.

On a funny note, the north side neighbor, who doesn't do this before, had a beautiful display, and one horse just stood in his stall, looking out his window mesmerized. Almost to say, wow, look at this, thats cool.
My youngster, was not pleased, and took a nip at me. He became very agitated, but fortunately was in a barn with other horses who were 'cool' with it.

I still hate it though. It seems the 4th is about backyard drinking and fireworks, and not so much public displays and celebrating the fact that this is our independence...guess I am getting old!

columbus
Jul. 5, 2010, 06:58 PM
At my house this year it was like living in Badad. Irregular booms, blasts and bursts all round me this year and it was hot and sticky. They stayed in the stall in front of the fan. Last year there were 5 and they were so moved to have a hooo haaa around a couple of paddocks when the first ones go off. They weren't afraid, just an excuse to have some fun, there was one who wasn't sure he was having fun but the others were't going to do anything stupid so he settled down when they did. Last year I was out to check on them and PonyCob was doing class 5 sprongs nearly on top of me so I left them to it. PatO