Monday, December 31, 2007

Fireworks and Horses

As Spotsylvania is increasingly covered by subdivisions and small “estates,” our farmland is disappearing. Many Spotsylvanians, however, remain horse owners. Throughout Virginia, horse ownership is on the rise, according to last year’s agricultural census. But as horse ownership increases, so does the likelihood that horse farms will have non-horse owning neighbors as properties in rural areas are developed.

Many horse owners face holidays typically celebrated with private fireworks displays with trepidation. Some celebrations go on every evening for several days before the holiday itself. We can prepare for the obvious holidays, like the Fourth of July. New Year’s Eve is another presumed fireworks celebration prepared for in advance. Unless the celebration starts before 7 PM rather than at or around midnight.

As our horses reacted to a neighbor’s early New Year’s Eve display, running up and down their fields, I could not shake the memory of a dear friend’s horse that impaled himself on a board as he crashed through his fence in a panic ten years ago on the Fourth of July. He died before the vet arrived.

If you just can’t celebrate without a loud aerial (and ILLEGAL) fireworks display, perhaps you could let your horse owning neighbors know your plan ahead of time, allowing them to prepare if necessary. They’ll appreciate the heads-up.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy New Year!

Has it been over two months since the last post? It obviously has, and for that I apologize. With the caveat that I have only kept two or three New Year's Resolutions in my life, I hereby resolve to post more frequent updates regarding the residents, the programs and plans for future development at Traveller's Rest.

We have a lot to catch up on, including:

The October Yard Sale was a nice success. The next yard and tack sale will be in the spring. (If you received any holiday gifts you've already decided to ReGift, please consider TREES as the re-giftee! Spring is vaccination time, and at almost $100 per elder, the spring sale will play an important part in providing much needed funds.)

Another troubled geezer, a 37 year old Quarter Horse named Phoenix, arrived the first week of November. More on Phoenix very soon.

Shortly thereafter, Meredith Barlow, a local Equine Dental Technician and Dr. Ray Hyde, DVM, founder of the American School of Equine Dentistry, performed a day-long dentathon. (That derserves a post of its own. Details soon.)

The second of two modular shelters is being completed today to provide cover for Phoenix and an indoor dining room for Rienzi. (Volunteer painters welcome any time the weather permits such chores!)

The holidays brought gifts from the Chronicle of the Horse Secret Santa program. Beautiful new leather halters, ceramic leg wraps to make tired legs more comfortable and a slew of other needed goodies. Several supporters did their holiday shopping through TREES' and iGive links, adding more change to our accounts.

In the last few days, another dietary experiment began. We learned that the feed we were giving our Cushings and Insulin Resistant residents may not have been the best choice. We are now switching them to Triple Crown Lite to see if that is better. We're not likely to see an immediate difference, but will post any observations.

Finally, we hope everyone had a peaceful holiday, spent with family and friends. May your New Year be happy, filled with peace, success and the love of friends, be they two-legged or four.

Happy New Year!