Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Facing Foreclosure or a Forced Move--- Don't Leave Your Horse Behind

Cashasgoodasmoney was not left behind, but adopted out by The Second Race, and is used as a model only for this article.

Times are tough for most. This is not a news story, all or most of us have had to scale back, cut back and down size. For some, it's been even harder than making some adjustments in finances or spending, and they have lost their homes. If you or someone you know is facing a similar fate and a forced moved, please do right by all your animals/pets and make a provision for them; including your horses.

When you brought home your horse, you made a commitment to keep him or her with you, through thick or thin. And your horse in return has made that same commitment to you. Your horse has loved you through the ups and downs of life.

So if you have to move or vacate your home or farm your horse (and other animals in residence) will not survive if abandoned or set loose.

How do you help yourself and your horse(s) through this difficult time? Make a Plan. If you are in trouble and facing foreclosure, start as early as possible to look for a new place to live where you can keep your horse. Not all areas are zoned for equines, so you may have to spend some time finding a place. It's better to make sound decisions in difficult times, if you allow some pre-planning and not emotional decisions with respect to your animals.

Find a Horse friendly place in your town or surrounding area by checking at your boarding stable, feed store, friends and associates, local phone book, or on line. Google is your friend. Speak up, let those you trust know of your situation. People in general want to help. Now more than ever, I believe there are people who understand your situation and we collectively have a better sense of community. Pride will not help you when you are forced on your last day to move and you haven't made any provisions for your horse friend.

If you can't take your horse with you, find them a safe place to stay on a temporary basis. When choosing a temporary place to house your horse, consider asking your veterinarian or farrier for references. They travel throughout your city, county and may know someone that can help. Ask your local boarding facilities if they will set a payment plan with you for boarding costs, while you relocate. Its easier to find a place to keep your male horse if he is not intact, so consider castrating him as soon as possible. There are low cost gelding services/vouchers in many states that can help with the cost. Look for breed specific associations to help you. The Second Race, will help too. Consider contacting us at thesecondrace@gmail.com to network on your behalf to adopt out your off the track ex-race horse, or those bred to race.

The networking of Facebook and other social media has exploded in the past year, and there may be a Facebook group that can help. Always check references, do your research and don't just hand over your horse to anyone without knowing to the best of your ability who that person is. Especially if you haven't met them previously and only know them online. For smaller animals there is a group of real estate agents that have formed an online resource with lists of rescues that will take in your pet; perhaps those that deal with farms, ranches have a similar list. Contact your local real estate representatives.

A word of caution in advertising your horse for "Free" on Craigslist. Kill buyers and those that broker horses to auction lots, comb through free listings. Don't hand over your horse to the first person that shows up with a trailer. Investigate who the person is. If they are legitimate, they will understand. Don't be surprised if you advertise your horse is free, that concerned strangers will contact you to offer you another resort to place your horse. There are just as many people watching the Craigslist offerings, to protect your horse.

If you can't find a temporary home, contact rescue groups. There are literally thousands of rescue/sanctuaries throughout the United States. Again Google is your friend. When searching, look for rescue organizations where you can surrender ownership of your horse (and other animals) which do not euthanize adoptable animals. This will provide you with peace of mind, during a difficult time. Some organizations will house your horse for a short time (perhaps 60 days) before the group takes ownership of your animal, allowing you an opportunity to be reunited with your equine friend. If you do not reclaim your pet in the prescribed time, you horse may be up for adoption and you forfeit the ability to re-home him. Always ask about your options when contacting a rescue. Visit the temporary home in advance of your placement. Go a couple times, perhaps unannounced to see if there is consistency in the care of the animals already on the property. Make sure the person is not hoarding animals. Go with your instincts, again much easier to do when you have some time to prepare.

If there is no other recourse you may have to consider putting your beloved horse down. This is a decision that is fraught with emotion and can only be decided by you the pet's owner. However, the decision to lovingly let your animal pass as opposed to starving or being abandoned to an unknown fate, honors the commitment you made and the unconditional love the pet has shown you. There are low cost euthanasia clinics throughout the United States and it may take some hunting around to find an option. The Unwanted Horse Coalition is a proponent of this choice and may have some resources available to explore.

Ultimately, your pet and horse depend on you. You may not have chosen your fate, lost your job on purpose, or knew that our country would go through the worse recession in history when you brought your pet into your life, but he or she is here now and going through whatever you are.

Making the best decisions for you and your horse will help to ensure that your friend is safe. By following these simple suggestions, you and your family will have a better future.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Patience and Payten-- A Top Bunk Ex-Racehorse

The Second Race applauds those that adopt our equine athletes when their racing careers are over. In our ongoing series of stories, here is one submitted by Amanda Smith regarding her off the track Thoroughbred, Pay Attention.

After almost a year of waiting, it was March 12 2009. It was a frigid Thursday night in Central Pennsylvania, yet I convinced two of my co-workers to make the short trip to Penn National with me. I was going to get a race horse.

Pay Attention (Take Me Out – That’s Ravishing, by Big Spruce) was racing for the first time after an 11-month layoff. Payten (Pay Attention’s barn name) was claimed for the twelfth time in his last start in April 2008. He was claimed for $5k that past spring, but, despite earning over $500,000 in his career, he was running this race for a $4k tag, Pennsylvania’s lowest claiming rank. Despite a record of 71-12-8-11, he was running with the lowest of Pennsylvania’s low. He had paid his dues to the racing world and I was going to retire him.

I found Payten on Alex Brown’s “Top Bunk List” – a list of thoroughbreds that had earned over $500k but were running for claiming tags of $5k or less. When I first noticed the Top Bunk List in 2008, my interest in OTTBs had already been piqued by the forums on Brown’s web site, AlexBrownRacing.com. So many thoroughbreds needed new jobs when they reached the end of their racing careers, and so many people of all skill levels and walks-of-life seemed to be rehoming them.

I was the typical horse-crazy young girl. My heart has belonged to horses for as long as I remember. What, though, would I do with an OTTB? I certainly didn’t have the riding ability or horse knowledge to properly retrain a horse off the track. I was determined, though, to make a difference in the life of one race horse. To my advantage and good fortune, I rode and boarded at a barn with an extremely OTTB-knowledgeable trainer, and at my boarding facility there were a handful of dedicated and experienced riders that would be willing to help me in my OTTB endeavor. Armed with these resources, I set out on my journey.

I went to Penn National on March 12 2009 with the intentions of speaking to Payten’s trainer. I had written a letter stating my intentions of retiring the horse and I put it in a bag filled with apples, carrots, and various horse cookies and muffins. I was new to racing, though, and I wasn’t sure who the trainer actually was, so I ended up giving the bag to the groom. He didn’t speak much English, and I’m pretty sure the package never made it to the trainer. Payten finished a dismal 10th of 12 horses that night.

I was a little luckier on March 28. Payten had drawn post position one for that race, and the first stall in the paddock area just happened to be right next to the viewing area. I worked up enough courage to ask one of the gentlemen if he was the trainer. He said yes, and I gave him another “care package” full of treats and a letter, and I explained to him I wanted to retire his horse. I think I took him by surprise, but he thanked me and took my package and letter. Payten finished 4th that night.

My big break came on April 25. The trainer’s son recognized me as I watched the horses enter the paddock, and he introduced me to the horse’s assistant trainer. She was very excited that someone was interested in giving one of her horses a good retirement home. I again gave her a letter that contained my contact information. After the race, she said I’d probably be receiving a call soon. I was ecstatic, to say the least!

May 22 was my 31st birthday. My boyfriend and I went to the track to watch the races, even though Payten wasn’t running. I was stationed in my usual spot next to the paddock when my phone rang – it was the assistant trainer. I could come get Pay Attention as soon as I was ready. I literally began yelling, “Pay Attention is mine!” in the middle of a crowd of people. I called everyone I knew and yelled over the phone, “I got him!” It was the best birthday present ever.

I picked up Payten at the trainer’s farm near Penn National on May 30 2009 and took him to a local farm that was much more low-key that Stonewood. Payten stayed there a month until a stall opened up at my barn, then he moved to his permanent home on July 1. His progress has certainly been a proverbial roller coaster. At first, he was a sleek, fit, muscular, high-energy athlete that galloped around his paddock with his tail in the air and head held high. After a few months of “coming down” from track life, his condition deteriorated. He lost at least 100 pounds, his feet were sore, his neck and back were out of alignment. He developed what we think were lower GI ulcers. His hair fell out in patches, he got rain rot and ringworm. It was one thing after another and, even though my trainer warned me what could happen, I was devastated for so many months. This was not the life I wanted for this warrior!

Patience and perseverance paid off. Payten slowly gained weight with a high-quality diet tailored to his needs by my trainer. The Animal Sports Therapist worked with him over a few months using a variety of treatments. The vet scoped him and x-rayed his obviously-large front ankles. We treated Payten for ulcers and have him on some good supplements to help support his GI and joint health. His winter coat shed out, and his summer coat came in smooth and gleaming. Regular farrier visits have helped his strengthen his feet and correct his hoof angles. Now, Payten is the picture of health and happiness, exactly what I wanted for him when I retired him.

After spending hours upon hours sitting with Payten in his stall, hanging out with him in his paddock, grooming him, hand-grazing him, and working him from the ground, I rode him for the first time one year after I brought him home. I didn’t have a saddle that fit him yet, so I hopped on him bareback, and he was an angel. I’ve ridden him multiple times since then, and it’s strengthened the bond we have. I think Payten finally realizes he has his own human now, and I think it makes him one very happy horse.

Monday, July 19, 2010

"High Jinx"-- Bucked His Way into His Owners Heart

The Second Race enjoys receiving stories from owners of their ex-race horses. Our story today is written by Shannon and her ex-race horse Sting of Glory renamed "High Jinx".

I am the first to admit that I fall in love at the drop of a hat. For as long as I can remember I have loved horses. I also love speed. My first pony was a half blind old Shetland/ welsh palomino that would run away with me on a regular and thrilling basis. My next pony was a half Arabian, my very own “Black Stallion” come to life. Both paled before the greatness of my first real horse.
My first memory of Jinx was of him flying by me, rider-less at a horse show. He had enough of his current owner and had unceremoniously dumped him at the base of a jump and flew out of there. He ran back to his stall, ran in and went out to the attached run and hid behind the barrier. As I caught him and brought him back to his owner I swear he was laughing.
A few months later I now boarded at the same barn. I was grooming my Arabian cross when I heard the unmistakable sound of a horse cast. We located the problem, Jinx. He had rolled over and gotten one leg stuck under the water and the other was stuck out the door. I carefully liberated both legs, and helped pull him over so he could get up. After he stood up he sniffed my hair, and seemed quite embarrassed that humans had seen him in such a precarious position. Once again I was struck by his amazing presence, I had never seen that or felt that before, but it was like standing next to a high voltage power line, you could just feel the vibrations. It was not long after that episode that my coach told me it was time for me to move on from my little Arabian and find a true horse that could teach me all about upper level three day eventing.
I tried many horses before I was shown Jinx. My family was nervous. He had a terrible reputation, he regularly bucked his owner off, and he was older. My first ride was something else. The vibrations from the ground were nothing compared to what you got when you looked through those black ears.
Not only did he teach me about eventing, he taught me more. Jinx taught me love, loyalty, courage, honor, and life. He carried me through my first long format three day events, jumped advanced level cross-country jumps, and yes, bucked me off on a regular basis. He saved me from a terrible fall at a qualifying event. To this day I don’t know how he stayed on his feet. The courage and heart of a TB was in full effect that day. He had “happy” bucks and “don’t screw up again” bucks. He was far from the elderly school horse, but he taught me to ride correctly, and to care for a horse. On one occasion, he bucked me off so hard that I ruptured my spleen.
When I was finally able to ride again I was terrified. Not of riding, just of him. I swear he was devastated when I would do anything but ride him. I was riding another horse in the barn (a quarter horse sale horse) while I tried to make up my mind about what to do with him. The sale horse was a very difficult ride. You had to work for every little thing. One night after a particularly difficult training session I remember having a dream that I swear was sent by Jinx. I remember the sensation of how smooth he was to ride, how effortless the jumps were, and the feeling of power under me. I also got the sense of peace, the calm assurance that he was very, very sorry for hurting me and he would never, ever do that again. The next day I found the courage to get back on my beloved Jinx again. One year later we were headed to the North American Young Rider’s Eventing Championships in Bromont Canada. Yes, he kept his promise, he never bucked that hard with me ever again.

I am thrilled that Jinx had his final moment of glory in Canada. His return to Canada has a special place forever in my heart. He was a Canadian bred thoroughbred out of Northern Dancer’s 1974 foal crop. He raced under the name Sting of Glory, a powerful name for a powerful horse. He only raced 12 times, winning twice, crashing the gate once (injuring an assistant starter), and the story goes that in his final start he bucked off the jockey at the start of the race and then jumped into the grandstand. The track officials had enough, he was barred from racing.
The vet who bought him sponsored the Canadian Three Day Olympic team. A young rider named David Wilding Davis got the ride and took Jinx to Young Riders. Jinx most likely would have gone on the accompany David to the Pan Am games, and possibly the Olympics, but he was purchased by an American and brought to Arizona. No doubt Jinx loved Canada, and the symmetry of returning to Canada at the accumulation of his career was beautiful. His sheer joy at being on Canadian soil was evident in every movement. When I walked out of the tack room wearing a shadbelly and top hat you could see in his eyes his joy at being back in the “big time”. The event that year was held on the site of the 1976 Olympics. The setting contributed to the most beautiful and emotional show of my life. He gave me everything that weekend. I thank him every day for the experience of a lifetime.
There will never be another Jinx. His physical form may be gone, but I hear his hoof beats, feel his breath, and feel him with me every day. His love carries me on and inspires me. He is my guardian angel and companion. When I am afraid, stressed or unsure I can still feel the whispers, “its okay, just grab mane and kick on, I am still here, I will carry you”.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Time Spent with a Noble Friend-- The Story of Louie

In our ongoing series of stories submitted by our The Second Race friends; we are presenting another story of retired race horse, Alpha Assembly aka Louie.

Alpha Assembly aka Louie “Louis H”
Foaled March 18, 1992 by Noble Assembly out of Alpha t Beata
Jan 98-I had an ex racer named Quiet Explosion aka Expo, I had just recently sold him to a lesson barn and was in the market for a new prospect to train and sell to a show home. And there was Louie registered name Alpha Assembly. Dark Bay, white star, white left fore and white right hind and roany left hind leg! 6 yrs old, about 15.3 Hh kind of skinny but more racing fit. Had run 3 races as 3 yr old. Even had Calvin Borel as his jockey in his first race but in ’98 that didn’t mean a lot to me! I was told be ready to post when you get on him…and sure enough he took off trotting as soon as I swung that right leg over. My trainer had me school him for awhile. Typical race horse, showed promise though. And just for the heck of it I decided to pop him over a small wall…he jumped it like he had done it all his life! So I bought the small bay pony. Little did I know that horse would steal my heart!
We worked and worked, got to where he wouldn’t trot off when you mounted. He was so smart and advanced very quickly. We did well at our fist hunter shows but he just didn’t seem to like it. One day we were having a lesson and were schooling over a 2’6” vertical with stride placement poles on either side. 9ft away from the jump. Louie decided to take the whole thing as one jump. My trainer told me if he does that again we are making him a jumper. Well he jumped the whole thing once more. We have never looked back.

Louie and I took the jumper circuit by storm. Quickly moving up from puddle jumpers up to high child and junior a/o jumpers and higher. He loved his job and proved it by jumping the jumps out in his pasture when he was turned out. Nothing was ever too high, too wide, or too scary. He jumped everything. If I asked he jumped it. I believe he would have tried to jump the moon, if I had asked him too. Louie was my show horse thru high school and after. I was no longer looking to sell this wonderful horse. We could do everything! Whether it was jumping, cutting or just trail riding. In 2001 I decided to move to New York and took Louie with me. I spent 6 months as a working student for Peter Leone and got to school Louie for the grand prix ring. My little Texas bred retired race horse was out jumping many warmbloods! He excelled there, but Texas kept calling me and him home.
Not too long after we returned to Texas I got married and jumping kind of became a thing of the past. I still rode Louie everyday but now he was used as a ranch horse. He could cut with some of the best cutters out there! But he wasn’t as happy as what he was when he was jumping. He wanted to jump more than once every other week! So in the winter of 2003 I decided to sell my boy but with many stipulations to who could buy him! In April of 2004, Michele Moore, a young promising rider from OK came to look at him. I sold him for much less than what he was worth! BUT she promised to always keep in touch, that he would never be sold and that when he retired he would come home to me to live out his retirement. I became Michele’s trainer and Louie and I took Michele to the grand prix ring by that fall. They were very successful. A year later he came up lame, and Michele and I made the decision to retire him. He returned to Texas in the fall of 2006 and has had a wonderful retirement. While he was living at the Frye Ranch he got to be turned out with numerous pasture mates and had the run of 130 acres. But that proved to be a down fall. He needed to be on a smaller place where he didn’t feel the need to try and keep up with the herd, and discipline the youngsters. So I decided to take him to my parent’s place where the 2 of us grew up. When he returned to their house he ran right back in his stall that had been his for 5 years, even though he hadn’t been there in 2 1/2 yrs. He was sound again! He ran and kicked up his hills like a young horse again. He was home! He has had nearly 3 yrs there! We are back together, Michele tells me “He loves you so” I don’t regret selling him; he gave me my best friend, Michele. Louie has changed my life so very very much. I owe that horse my life.

As I’m writing this I have had to make the most dreaded decision a horse owner can make. I have made the decision to put my best friend of 12 yrs down. He is hurting, he can no longer run or play. My grandson of secretariat will soon go to be with God. My heart is already breaking but I know it’s the best thing I can do for him. He has had a forever home and has been spoiled these past few years. He is the love of my life. And I have found another OTTB named Missn Suesann “Susie” She reminds me a lot of Louie. Bay, white star about 15.3Hh….I hope to be in for another wonderful ride!
It’s been over 12 years since I looked at that star and diagonal whites and what a ride it’s been!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My Racing Heart

Yesterday, on The Second Race Facebook page, I posted the question "Who is Your Favorite Race Horse of All Time, and Why?". The answers where as expected, John Henry, Seabiscuit, Seattle Slew, Secretariat and Ruffian. There were many that felt Zenyatta was their favorite of all time. The mare has garnered a well deserved following, evidenced by the responses and love she inspires for racing. Eight Belles was chosen for her fighting spirit and untimely death following her incredible Kentucky Derby run in 2008.

What was enjoyable to read were how many of the race horses helped people through tough times in their lives. Whether famous or not, many commented on overcoming the death of a loved one, a divorce or how an emotional period of life was alleviated due to the spirit of competition and the joy of watching an equine athlete compete on the grand stage.

For me, War Emblem was the first race horse that captured completely my attention. It was 2002 and I was watching the Kentucky Derby on television at a local watering hole. I had watched the Triple Crown races for years on television, attended the races occasionally at Santa Anita, and would go to Los Alamitos a few times a year to catch the action at night. I have loved horses my entire life. My earliest memory was at three years of age, and knowing that horses would be with me in my heart forever. But for racing I was just a casual fan. I knew the famous names, but didn't follow racing. I wish I had.

War Emblem was a picture in the post parade, a sleek black Ferrari he gave me a chill, and I knew beyond a doubt he was going to win the race. The pre-race pageantry, his trainer Bob Baffert and his owner the Prince added to the charm of War Emblem. The gates opened, and the rest was history. Victor rode the colt to victory. I screamed the loudest and was hooked.

In 2003 and 2004 I watched everything that Smarty Jones did. The gorgeous chestnut with the crazy forelock, had tons of charisma. He quickly became a fan favorite from children to old timers. His heart couldn't be measured and for the first time I was caught up in the Triple Crown Fever.

Smarty seemed to be the first horse that I would see win the Triple Crown since becoming an avid racing fan two years prior. His loss to Birdstone was the singularly saddest moment for me in sports history. I am still not over it, and insult to injury was added when Ghostzapper won Horse of the Year. Smarty sadly, had been robbed again.

Those two race horses changed my viewing of racing and others after them caught my "racing heart". Brother Derek, Congaree, Rags to Riches, Afleet Alex, Curlin, and then of course Lava Man.

Lava Man, was the working man's horse. Relating to him was easy. He had the heart of a lion, a real warrior who outran his expectations and pedigree. It would take hours to explain the emotion he evokes in me to this day.

Lastly, and most importantly the horse that changed the trajectory of my life and shaped by purpose was Ferdinand. As I said I wasn't a racing fan when he ran. I did know the storied past of Ferdinand, but what was the life changer for me, was the death of our beloved Kentucky Derby winner in Japan. His reported slaughter was shocking to me. I didn't know about "racing's dirty secret", as it was later dubbed in the press. Because of Ferdinand, I went on to learn so much about what happens to some race horses when their careers are over. I learned about horses going to European markets to be food, and I learned that there weren't many places for geldings in particular to go to, when they were no longer competitive.

The Second Race was born from the beauty of War Emblem, Smarty Jones, and Lava Man but too, from the death Ferdinand. My life has changed dramatically because of each of them. The Second Race, in a small part hopes to pay tribute to each racing hero by changing the lives of many race horses in the years to come.

I can see no other way to pay back what they give to us.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

From the Race Track to Eventing-- Paddington's Story

From time to time, The Second Race, features stories told in the words of the owners of ex-race horses whom they have adopted or taken in for a new career. Here is the latest installment by Ashley Sager and her horse, Paddington.

I purchased Acrobatic Champ (aka Paddington or Paddy) from a small farm in NJ in April 2006. He had been off the track for about 2 weeks and I had this crazy idea that it would be fun to learn how to jump (I had been riding for 15 years but had always done Saddle Seat and never jumped) and so I thought I'd buy an off-the-track thoroughbred (I probably should have thought that through a bit more but it all worked out in the end).

When I first went to look at Paddy I thought he was about as ugly as a horse can be - he was about 100-200 pounds under weight, very gangly, all legs and had a skinny little neck. As they tacked him up I literally was trying to decide whether or not I even wanted to see him under saddle! But once I saw him move and rode him, I did a complete 180 - he was AMAZING. I couldn't sleep that night (that's how you know it's the right horse) so the next day I called and bought him.

After my purchase, I instantly fell in love with Paddy - he is the sweetest, most gentle, most well-mannered horse I have ever met. When I first bought him he had no idea what treats were, he reluctantly took a carrot from me about a week after purchase and it was a year before he'd try an apple, 2 years before eating horse treats and he still won't eat peppermints! But back to his story, over our first year we slowly learned how to jump together, he jumped like a gazelle and I am sure I didn't look much better but we figured it out.

Somewhere along the road, someone mentioned that they thought Paddy would be good at eventing, I thought "sounds fun" and we started eventing! We went to our first starter horse trials in 2007 and I was instantly hooked. I decided to take a year off from my day job and be a working student for Megan Moore at Team CEO Eventing in Kentucky, probably the best decision I ever made - it was an absolute blast! Paddy couldn't get enough of cross country and neither could I, we moved up the levels quickly and today we compete at the prelim level with hopes of doing our first one-star this fall.

Our current instructor, Babette Lenna, even thinks he could go Advanced one day, wouldn't that be something? He is the first horse I ever took to a horse trial, he is the first horse I ever rode Beginner Novice, Novice, Training and Prelim - I really hope he is the first horse I take Intermediate and Advanced (knock on wood). I am SURE he can do it, he is incredible talented, the only question is whether I can!

Paddy just turned 8 on April 15, 2010 (sorry, we don't follow the typical January 1st birthday - he's too special to have a generic birthday). He is 16.2hh, bay with some chrome and a star, he is still mostly legs but a lot less gangly then when I bought him 4 years ago, he has the cutest face (everyone says so) and is a yellow-lab in a horse costume, he'd sleep in my bed if I'd let him. His name is Paddington because he really does have the personality of Paddington Bear!


Friday, July 2, 2010

Horses and Fireworks--- Some Precautions to Take

With the country celebrating the Fourth of July this weekend, horse owners around the country are being urged to take precautions to ensure their animals (including horses) remain safe.

Reports of horses being badly injured, or even killed, after being terrified by the loud sudden noises and flashing lights associated with fireworks, are common.

Cases in recent years include a horse having to be destroyed after breaking a leg following a fireworks event, horses suffering from severe colic following a local fireworks party and a mare who had to be put down after a she broke through a fence and severed severe injuries. These may seem like extreme cases but they are worth considering when celebrating near your horses.

If you plan on having an event with fireworks, please consider notifying local horse owners in your area as a good citizen so they may keep their animals safe.

Tony Tyler, director of UK operations at the ILPH, says: "Most people look forward to bonfire night but for horse owners it can be a worrying time. Many horses and ponies can become stressed and upset by both the sight and sound of fireworks going off and if they are out in their fields it could have tragic consequences."

The ILPH advises horse owners to:

1. Make sure they are aware of firework parties in their area

2. Stable their horses and ponies if there are going to be fireworks nearby

3. Give them plenty of hay to keep them occupied

4. Check on them during the evening to make sure they are okay

5. Leave a radio on to camouflage the noise

6. Check their housing area in the morning for any stray fireworks

7. Have sand and water available in case of fire

Fireworks this time of year are always festive and fun and a wonderful tradition. Using common sense will make the day even more enjoyable for all involved.

In California fires are always a concern, here is a re-post of a blog post from last year that I wanted to re-run.


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