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.

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