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My sad, sad day...courtesy of the 4th of July

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  • I have no problems with fireworks inresidential neighbourhoods at all. Plenty of people around to see if a fire starts and no livestock. It's the geniuses shooting them off in the tinder dry forestlands or at fields with animals that piss me off.


    • I watched the news last night and PNW you looked great and very professional. Several horse people I have talked to also watched the story and feel for your loss.


      • I was just sick to read this thread and I am so sorry for you loss.
        I hape the interview does some good. I think it was probably good for you to be able to tell the story.
        Nina's Story
        Epona Comm on FB


        • Original Poster

          Thanks guys! I was glad that they only showed a very brief part of the questioning.....though the part I had the hardest time with was when they asked what I thought when I first saw Molly in the pasture the next morning. Words can't describe the sick feeling I got when I saw her leg and knew instantly in my gut what the result was going to be (I've never wished so hard to be wrong about something).

          Anyhow, I wish the camera guy hadn't shot me climbing through the fence (there's no such thing as grace when you've got a just-starting-to-heal broken ankle!), but in the grand scheme of things I, of course, don't care. I'm just happy that the story got told. The comments on the online newspaper article (there's a link to it a page or so back) were interesting. Just about everyone was completely supportive except for the person who asked how I could tell that they fireworks were illegal and not the sounds from the big city fireworks display. Um....kind of easy to tell the difference between M80s a couple hundred yards away and *real* fireworks several miles away!

          I put the letter to my neighbors in their mailboxes this morning. I basically just explained what happened and included the same picture of her that I linked to on the OP (alive and well). In hindsight I'm glad I didn't use the "after" picture because it occurred to me that even with my non-inflammatory, non-accusatory letter I'm STILL worried that some jackass is going to retaliate in some way and one of my other horses will suffer as a result. I guess I'm kind of a pessimist about people at heart, and I hate worrying about my horses. I don't know how people can live on a major highway or well traveled road without worrying constantly!

          Thanks again for all of your kind words and support. It's been amazingly therapeutic to write everything down every step of the way.
          Flying F Sport Horses
          Horses in the NW


          • I am so glad you got regional/national attention. And Yankee Lawyer gave you wonderful advice - well, she would know, wouldn't she!?

            This won't bring back your mare. But I hope it brings some sort of resitition, closure, and a measure of peace.
            Last edited by DressageGeek "Ribbon Ho"; Jul. 8, 2007, 01:06 PM.
            a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues


            • wow, that is just horrible. I am so sorry for your loss. She was a beautiful girl.

              One of a Kind Studio
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              New convert to the cow horse world.. love my QH mare.


              • What a sad and senseless tragedy. Your mare was so beautiful and I am so sorry for your loss.
                You have handled yourself in a incredible manner given this situation. Well done. I hope you recover quickly from all of this and find another wonderful horse to bring alone. I looked at your other pics and you look like a accomplished rider and one day a new horse will be in good hands. Good luck and take care.


                • Just read this. So sorry for your loss. She was a beautiful mare!
                  I love cats, I love every single cat....
                  So anyway I am a cat lover
                  And I love to run.


                  • I am so so sorry for your loss, my deepest condolences--

                    Home of Ironman: GOV, BWP, RPSI, CSHA, AWR, ISR Oldenburg, CWHBA, CSHA, CS, and PHR.


                    • She was beautiful. I'm so sorry for your loss.


                      • I am so sorry that yet another person and their horse has to go thru this. Maybe we should all start putting articles in local papers and posters up on phone poles.

                        I know all about blaming oneself, I'm so sorry to hear about your mare.
                        There is no snooze button on a cat that wants breakfast.


                        • Original Poster

                          A friend with a boarding stable just sent me an e-mail to say that she printed out my newspaper article (http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2007/j...-horses-death/) and is taking it to all of her neighbors along with a handwritten note explaining that this can happen to anyone with horses around fireworks. I've had a surprisingly large response from the community (none, of course, of the people who were actually setting off the fireworks), which is really nice.

                          Hopefully this will truly result in stopping some of the ridiculousness, and not just educate the already-educated.
                          Flying F Sport Horses
                          Horses in the NW


                          • Originally posted by PNWjumper View Post
                            A friend with a boarding stable just sent me an e-mail to say that she printed out my newspaper article (http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2007/j...-horses-death/) and is taking it to all of her neighbors along with a handwritten note explaining that this can happen to anyone with horses around fireworks. I've had a surprisingly large response from the community (none, of course, of the people who were actually setting off the fireworks), which is really nice.

                            Hopefully this will truly result in stopping some of the ridiculousness, and not just educate the already-educated.
                            That is a great idea! I think we should all make copies and post at local feed and tack stores...no matter where you live. The Orlando Sentinel had an editorial yesterday about police not looking the other way when it comes to these fireworks...I guess here in Florida, a house burned down and a 5 year old was hurt. I sent them the link to your story. Thought they could use that information as well.
                            Again, so sorry for your senseless loss.
                            Lori T
                            www.facebook.com/LTEquine for product updates on the lines I rep


                            • I saw your story on the NWCN the morning after it ran at night. I just found this thread, and wanted to post and say I am very sorry for your loss.

                              You looked great and the story was good, even my non horsey SO got it. However, I am hoping some kind of reminder story or something can be run next year before the 4th...unfortunately many people will forget the tragedies between now and then
                              My blog: Change of Pace - Retraining a standardbred via dressage


                              • Oh how terrible. I'm sorry to hear the bad news. Your mare was lovely.


                                • OMG, I am so, so sorry for your loss. Your mare was incredibly beautiful and it is a terrible loss! I am sending out many hugs to you. Godspeed to your beautiful mare. Just heartbreaking.

                                  Originally posted by mairzeadoats View Post
                                  Many states have OUTLAWED fireworks altogether. Others place tight restrictions on the kinds that can be used privately. It's expensive and a waste of taxpayer's money to have to keep putting out the fires and sending ambulances for the injured.

                                  Your "freedom" to detonate explosives ends where my property lines begin. And, personally, that goes for the noise pollution too.
                                  Fireworks are dangerous explosives that can and do start fires.

                                  The noise terrorizes animals. Shelters run articles every year begging people to put their frightened dogs into interior rooms. They've been known to panic, jump through windows and bolt. The shelters get overrun with frightened, lost dogs and cats every year on the 5th. This year, locally they reported was the worst in a long time.

                                  My horses were, as usual, confined to their stalls on the 4th. For the first time since I've had him, my elderly gelding was subjected to them thanks to a lawbreaking neighbor. Both his stall and my 2 year old's were trashed the next morning. Thank god I had them in.

                                  And fireworks are banned here.
                                  I agree with this. Legal, professional fireworks are the ONLY ones I am ever interested in seeing. There are far too many problems with the local yahoo setting off fireworks for me to see any value to it. Why, so some drunk idiot can yuck it up setting off fireworks. Sorry, but this is all I usually see. We do go to see a professional fireworks show. At least I can be reasonably certain a trained professional is handling it.

                                  But when we get back to our houseboat, invariably there is some drunk idiot setting illegal fireworks off IN A RAFT out into the middle of the slough and setting it off. WHILE THERE ARE TONS OF BOATS FULL OF GASOLINE! It is totally ridiculous. Then at our house there are the juvenile delinquents who love setting the fireworks off in the flood control property behind our house (which has wood shingles!) in the dry grass. Lovely. Just what I want to worry about.

                                  I too vote for stricter punishments for violating fireworks control laws. What exactly is so fun about endangering others, possible fires, and loud noise pollution????
                                  Where in this wide world can man find nobility without pride,
                                  friendship without envy or beauty without vanity?
                                  Ode to the Horse. ~ Ronald Duncan


                                  • What a sad and senseless loss. My heart goes out to you. Sending my deepest condolences.


                                    • PNW Jumper, first, I am so sorry for your loss. I had to put my TB down recently due to colic complications.

                                      I am so happy you went forward with the news broadcast. People can be so ignorant and thoughtless.

                                      I had a situation on New Year's eve with some new neighbors and fireworks (huge ones). I am beginning to wonder that some people think they can do what ever the heck they want just because they moved "to the country". These idiots were shooting the fireworks over my barn (my horses were in it and hay)!!!!! Now these people knew I had horses and my barn was in the direction they were shooting (granted the barn was probably 800 feet from where they were shooting the fireworks). I walked down close enough for them to hear me and yelled to them to please stop shooting the fireworks over my barn. I know they heard me because I can have a pretty loud yell, and I yelled when the fw's were not going off. I warned them if they did not stop, I would call the police. They did not stop, I did call the police, and the police went right over there and had them stop shooting. I think those people had a little too much to drink.

                                      The real kicker about the whole thing is the parents have a young daughter who takes riding lessons, and the girl's grandmother (mother's mom) has had horses and farms all of her life.

                                      I would not hesitate to call the police again if need be. I was waiting to see what would happened this past 4th of July. Didn't hear anything, hope it sunk in.


                                      • To the OP: I'm so sorry for your loss. She was a beautiful horse. I think you might be surprised by the sympathy your story could generate. There was a debate in NJ this past spring about a horse farm trying to get a local high school to stop holding a fireworks display nearby. A judge eventually decided in favor of the high school, which had a 5-year 'tradition' of the senior class hiring a fireworks company to hold a show at their alcohol-free graduation party at a swim club. The story was covered in several local papers, and from what I saw, 98% of public reaction was pro-horse. I think the general attitude was "That's a terrible way to teach the next generation about maturity and values, putting their own fun ahead of the welfare of innocent animals."

                                        In terms of fireworks: I absolutely agree with the person/people who said that since when did patriotism mean getting drunk and blowing things up? If you really love explosions so much, join the military. NJ currently has some of the strictest fireworks laws in the US (it's illegal to buy/sell/set off anything, even sparklers) but when I was a kid in the early 1980's, it was a lot different. Our neighbors set off things that would literally shake our house (a sturdy 3-story farmhouse) from a block away. But it changed. You can change the culture. NJ outlawed almost all fireworks, and for the last few years has been actively pursuing lawbreakers at the 4th and it's made a huge difference. There are still teenagers setting off firecrackers at the 4th and randomly all summer, but the worst of it has gone. And if you can do this in NJ, which has a direct pipeline to the fireworks marts of Pennsylvania and the south, a lot of irascible people in general, and enough other problems that you might think law enforcement and politicians would be tempted to backburner the issue, you can do it anywhere.


                                        • Some people are just IDIOTS. We live in a VERY rural area; thankfully, our neighbors are far enough away that their acivity rarely disturbs us at all. And we set off small fireworks ourselves on the 4th - we experimented when it was still daylight to see what the horses would think. I stalled the three babies, and the others were out. What noise there was did not seem to bother tham much at all - but these were little fireworks, not big boomers. IF we had neighbors, I'd NEVER have set any off. Too much can happen.
                                          That said, don't beat yourself up over the accident. We all know horses somehow find ways to hurt themselves even in padded cells. It doesn't lessen your loss (and I've had one put down myself) but please know others feel your pain. What a LOVELY mare Molly was. It sucks that you have to worry about retaliation,but that's the nature of having horses at home and trying to get along with brainless neighbors.
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