Saturday, July 5, 2008

What a Blast

My 4th of July was great. I spent the day with my family at the Painted Creek farm. That night, we went over to their neighbor's for some Independence Day festivities.

My Boy would've been proud. I played a game of horseshoes and I got this:

A ringer! That brought my partner and I up from behind and we won the game.

There was also good food. Well, I wouldn't call oysters good food. Of oysters, I am not a fan. To each his own. But I was happy with the brownies.
And then there were these little blue drinks. It is called Hypnotiq. Some kind of passion fruit liquor. Aren't they a pretty color?

My sister took this picture. It made me chuckle when I saw it. Because I am in my element. Lounging in a chair. Messing with my camera. Taking pictures. Of what?

Of the campfire. I love campfires. Speaking of hypnotic, they can induce you into a campfire coma. Have you ever been in one?

The horses were very nervous when all of the fireworks started in the neighborhood. There were no fireworks going off anywhere near our horse pastures or even on the property. Most of them were on other properties, and luckily due to it being a heavily wooded neighborhood, out of sight. But they could hear them. The neighborhood is full of horses. We locked up the cats and dogs. I read on Horse and a Half's blog that it is best to keep horses in their familiar surroundings and routine during the 4th of July. Our horses are in pastures with run-in sheds. If we had locked them up, I think they would have been more upset about being confined. Having the space to spook and run if they felt like they needed to seemed to be better.

Regardless, I did not like seeing them so upset. We checked on them often and gave them treats and extra flakes of hay. One of my sister's mares seemed fairly at ease, but My Boy, Brandy, and the goats were more agitated. I can only imagine that is must be extremely scary and confusing for horses to hear so many loud sounds and see such strange lights.

Has anyone used a tranquilizer such as Ace to help keep their horses calm on the 4th of July? What would be the pros and cons of doing this?

Today, I felt like My Boy was a bit off. He probably did not get a good night's sleep, that's for sure. So I decided not to ride. I just longed him out and played some games with him. He settled down and seemed his old self in no time, trying to steal my granola bar from me. Then I let him graze in the meadow of dandelions and daisies.

He was happy.

I was happy. I love summer. I could spend all day BBQ'ing. And having bonfires. And watching my horse eat dandelions in the meadow.

And eating brownies.


  1. Well, around here, it would probably take multiple injections of ace to do any good. They don't last nearly as long as the fireworkds did. They seemed to start shooting things off in the afternoon and didn't quit until the wee hours of the morning. That's more drugs than I'd like my ponies to have.

  2. Sounds and looks like you had a great 4th! Campfires can be so relaxing!

    Never aced ours on the 4th. We always just do the everyday normal routine and then watch them when the fireworks start. Ours seem very used to it and keep doing there normal things. And like Mikael said the drugs wouldn't last as long as the fireworks did. I think you did right with how you all handled it. Hopefully each year he will get more used to them.

  3. I've never had any horses that became excessively agitated by fireworks (or gunfire for that matter). I've only ever had one dog who became upset at them too and he came to me at 5, so there might have been a history there.

  4. I finally get a google account and am very excited to be able to start commenting on your blog and at some point you added that an open id can comment too so I did all that work for not!

    Any way...thank you kindly for the blog makes me feel popular :P As for ace on the 4th...or ace in general. Ace is pretty mild for a sedative and it only works if the horse is calm to begin with so if you wait to give it until the first firework goes up you are already too late. Also Ace does not stop the horses mind from going so they could be panicing in there head and unable to move there feet so you would really not be helping them to feel better about the fireworks, only letting them panic standing still. I think it is am option if you have a horse you are really worried about running through a fence, but that just for normal nerves it might not be the best choice.

  5. eeeewwwwwwwww - oysters!!! i've never had one but they just look nasty! no thanks!!

    i LOVE brownies and campfires too - they always put me in a coma. (both of them!)

    and you are soooo pretty!!

  6. Hey My Boys "girl"

    Hey great patriotic photo, with your Boy!
    Re: Sedation
    I had to ride in the grand entry in our local rodeo! My horse, was not happy!! She was fired up! This is her 2nd time performing in an arena filled with people, commotion, and fireworks! Plus here they fire an anvil!! Talk about loud! Not just once either, 3 times!! Then right before we go in, they shoot off Fireworks!
    Poor Rumor was so wound up! I could feel her heart pounding!! I knew she was going to panic when we rode in the arena, One of the other girls had a sedative, we gave it to her about 30 min before our performance! It was awesome! Her heart stopped pounding, she calmed down 90% She was still alert, but at ease. It was a relief. I was worried, I would be the saddle bronc entertainment for the evening! As we did our performance, she only hesitated when we had to shoot out towards the bulls, but did pretty well all in all! Would I sedate her again? Absolutley! It was worth it to have her at ease! And make sure there were no accidents. (She performed on Thurs in front of a smaller crowd and was pretty wound up, but last night she was unpredictable! and I know my girl and have never had a problem handling her.)

  7. I agree with "onthebit" about Ace. I worked for a vet for 10 years, and people would always buy us out of Ace for the 4th, and then report back that it didn't do what they expected it to. It HAS to be given BEFORE their adrenaline starts pumping, in order for it to work, and it affects all horses differently; from making them unsteady on their feet and a hazard to themselves, to not affecting them at all. And yet, their are horses that it hits at just the right time, and it takes the edge just never know how your horse will react, and it usually won't be the same everytime. Vets have success with it for procedures, because they will often give it as an induction in an IV, and then they will maintain the horses state of "bliss" (LOL!) with a stronger, longer acting sedative. I think that the best thing, is to just be sure that you are home, in case of any problems, and do exactly what you and your family did: drink exotic drinks! ;)
    Me, Eric and Amber were in charge of watching out for the horses that night, and after a lot of running around, they settled down just fine.
    Well, I am off to ride with Amber! Have a great day!

  8. The first horse I bought when we moved to our house was a 9 yr old Morgan gelding. He had only been living here for 3 weeks and 2 of those weeks he had a pasture partner. But when the 4th came along his partner had gone to her new home and he was scared to death. My neighbors always shoot off lots of fireworks that that year was no exception. Even though it was raining I was out in the pasture trying my best to calm him down but it didn't work. Finally the neighbors "shot their wad, so to speak" and it was over. He was nervous for a couple of days, but then he was a spooky horse anyway. I ended up having to sell him due to his spookyness. I was afraid I would get hurt and my husband was even more afraid I would. I didn't know anything about Ace then. I probably could have put it to good use.

  9. Looks like you all had a blast!! I have always liked fires too!! They are so amazing.
    We just let our horses out in their normal pastures!! We have never drugged any of ours. They all don't seem to mind it too much. Sometimes my older mare will run and hide under her run in shed, but all the others just stay grazing. Maybe it's the comfort in numbers??? I am not sure.
    Love your daisy picture!!

  10. I agree with Onthebit and the others about ace. Its not a good drug to use when fear is going to be involved. It is actually wasnt doing the best to hold Frost under threshold just to walk and that was just to keep him from getting too hot. Besides they can blow through it if they want.

    I would suggest worrying less. When we get agitated, they get agitated. Everyone always asks me how the dogs did with the fireworks going off right over their heads? Why are they supposed to be nuts? (our downtown fireworks go off about a block from my house, its LOUD!) I ignore it, remain calm and my animals follow suit.

  11. What fun evening!
    I like your picture monkeying with the camera ;o)

  12. Sounds like you had a nice holiday.
    As for me I would not use ACE for fireworks. Booster and Tonk seem to be OK with them. Possibly your boy was feeling a bit nervous and being a herd animal pastured alone, he did not have a buddy to comfort him. I like the fact that we are always exposing the boys to new things, the more exposure the better and safer they become. I am not big into using drugs unless they are deemed absolutely necessary to make it safe for both horse and human.

  13. If I were going to give the horses anything, I'd try some Rescue Remedy. Just cut a little hole in a chunk of apple and add a few drops. Almost all health food stores have it and it seems to work well with my girls to give it to them about 15-30 min. before the "scary thing" happens. We just followed our regular routine on the 4th. They were tucked into their barn with a big flakes of hay. My husband was even mucking in Siete's stall when a firecracker went off at our neighbor's next door. She stopped eating and her ears perked up. He just patted her and told her it was fine, and she went back to chomping hay. I love campfires too. Glad you had fun!

  14. Anytime sista PG! Hey I know!? You can come "dance on the bar" with Meg and I!! We can start our own "line dancin" trend!! HA! HA!...hmmm... what shall we call ourselves? "Fox HOT" he! he! Witty I tell ya! I am just plain witty!!

    Don't worry about finding that "Cowboy" mine came, and I wasn't even looking! You are a real catch, and a hard worker! My Motto has always been "treat people how you want to be treated! It works every time! (No pimpin here!)

  15. Sounds like a wonderful day. And, I do believe that I have had a campfire induced coma before!

  16. I've never used Ace for fireworks. Looks like you had a great time.

  17. I'm glad that you had such a wonderful 4th of July. You do look so calm and relaxed in that chair.
    And cute, too! You should have that cowboy sitting beside you rubbing your shoulders. hehe

    Baby Doll was a little bit nervous, too. Thankfully out here in the mountains fireworks are brief and few. I do like you do, though, and keep her in the smaller paddock, so she can run a bit if she does get upset. I think it helps her run-off steam.
    Eventually, she's too tired to care about the fireworks! haha

    My Boy in the tall grass is such a beautiful photo. Good photo skills!

    Oh! And thanks for leaving a comment on my blog with your info about the blankets you use. I really do appreciate it. I'l be looking for that brand for my Baby Doll soon.

  18. Great pics and looks like a wonderful weekend. The boy looks beautiful as usual. As for the Ace...there is no shame in it when it comes to calming them down and YOU. I would rather do that than risk getting either one of us hurt!

    You rock!

  19. I'm not a real oyster fan, but that does look good! Love brownies! Love 'em! Sounds like a nice fourth! I think campfires are pretty cool too!

  20. What a nice day and a nice post. Ahhh, I am more relaxed already. Now, where are my brownies?

  21. MY BOY and the dandelions picture... need I day more!

    love love love it!


I love hearing from my readers!! I truly enjoy all of your feedback, advice, helpful tips, and stories. You all make me laugh and I learn so much from you, too. I will try to post replies to your comments as often as I can.

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