Friday, 14 October 2011

Fireworks and equines

Fireworks can frighten even the most sensible horse. Therefore, the BHS has put together a checklist for owners:

  • Look at local press and local shops’ notice boards and listen to the radio to find out where the displays will be in your area.
  • Wherever possible, tell neighbours and local firework display organisers that there are horses nearby, so they can ensure fireworks are set off in the opposite direction and well away from them.
  • Decide whether to stable your horse or leave it in the field. It is sensible to keep your horse in its familiar environment, in its normal routine, with any companions to make it feel secure. If it is usually stabled, keep it stabled. If it is normally out in the field, keep it there as long as it is safe, secure and not close to the firework display area.
  • If stabled, check thoroughly for anything that could cause potential injury such as protruding nails and string.
  • If your horse is to stay in the field, check that fencing is not broken and that there are no foreign objects lying around.
  • Ensure that you, or someone experienced, stays with your horse if you know that fireworks are being set off.
  • If it is absolutely necessary for you to leave your horse in the care of another person during a firework display, then be sure to leave clear instructions and contact details for both you and your vet should any problems arise.
  • If you know your animal will be stressed, talk to your vet about sedation, or perhaps consider moving your horse for the night.
  • Playing music on a radio positioned outside the stable can often mask sudden noise, distract attention and be soothing.
  • Try to remain calm yourself and keep positive, as horses will sense unease in a person and this may make things worse if the horse is startled.
  • It may seem common sense but be aware of your own safety; a startled horse can be dangerous.
  • Whatever you do – don’t risk riding when you think fireworks might be set off.
  • Check if there will be a bonfire near your yard. If there is, make sure you have an emergency fire procedure in place. If you have any doubts, talk to your local fire safety officer.
  • Make sure that you have adequate third party liability insurance. If your horse is frightened and escapes, causing an accident, then you could be held liable for compensation.
By being proactive in planning for fireworks and Bonfire Night, you can make the annual celebrations less stressful for you and your horse.

It is not just horse owners who need to be careful. Anyone organising a firework display should inform local horse owners. It is also a good idea not to let fireworks off anywhere near fields or farms.

Most people don’t realise how much suffering fireworks cause to animals, particularly horses and those who really want to have fireworks in their back garden should think carefully about how it will affect the local animals before they do so.

extract from British Horse Society Reporting of Equestrian Incidents

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Horse of the Week

If you are interested in famous horses from the show jumping, dressage, eventing or horse racing world you might like a great new blog called Horse of the Week which features posts about favourite horses from thoses disciplines. The horse in the above picture with one white stocking is Eclipse the famous racehorse who was recently featured on Horse of the Week.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

White Stockings - horse leg markings

A horse or pony has stockings when the white marking reaches at least to the knee or hock, usually over as shown in the above photograph.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

White Socks

A sock is a white marking that extends higher than the fetlock but not as high as the knee or hock, here we've used a painting by John Frederick Herring Jnr to illustrate white socks.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

The Pony Club

Did you know that you can join The Pony Club even if you don't have a pony of your own?

Membership is open to boys and girls up to 21 years of age and there are almost 40,000 Pony Club Members in Great Britain who belong either to one of the 357 Branches or 260 Centres. Pony Club membership offers fun, friendship, training, events and competitions.

If you haven't got your own pony you can join one of the 260 Centres linked to The Pony Club in Great Britain, you pay an  annual subscription and receive instruction at a linked Riding Centre, the subscription gives you Membership of the Club and 3rd party insurance. You'll be encouraged to learn more about riding and horse and pony care and improve your knowledge by working toward gaining Achievement Badges (there are 20 covering a range of subjects) and Pony Club Tests.

Find out more about The Pony Club by visiting the website

Friday, 9 September 2011

Rusty: the Trustworthy Pony ,Tilly's Pony Tails 15 by Pippa Funnell

Pippa Funnell's latest Tilly's Pony Tails book, Rusty: the Trustworthy Pony,  was published on 1st September, this time Tilly Redbrow, who doesn't just love horses - she lives, breathes and dreams them too, senses something special about gentle pony Rusty.