Are Horses Scared Of Fire

Carole Stephens
• Thursday, 22 October, 2020
• 10 min read

In the devastating Yellowstone National Park fires of 1988, for example, the recorded death toll was as follows: 345 elk, 36 deer, 12 moose, six black bears, and nine bison. However, as will be related later, there was the potential for human as well as equine deaths involving this writer and a trail riding group when one of those fires hit full stride.

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When the fires of fall 2003 devastated parts of California, domestic livestock, including horses, were injured and killed. It is difficult to determine just how many horses were killed in those California fires, says Terry Park, DVD, of El Cajon, Calif. (in San Diego County).

Park, who has retired from active veterinary practice, worked with California officials to determine the extent of loss to the animal population of San Diego County. Not all equine deaths were reported, he explains, with some owners merely disposing of dead animals without telling anyone.

There also were instances where owners apparently decided the fires provided an excellent excuse to abandon their animals, and some were left unclaimed at shelters. An estimate of the death toll, Park says, is that some 50 horses, 20 cows, and 10 goats were killed by fire in San Diego County.

It is also estimated, he adds, that about 400 horses were treated by veterinarians for burns and/or smoke inhalation in San Diego County. Between 700 and 800 head of horses were evacuated by equine transport companies, who had volunteered their services in San Diego County.

At the peak of the crisis, there were approximately 900 equine evacuees housed in track stalls, and about 400 more stabled at the nearby Del Mar Horse Park. The reason, he says, stems from the fact that the fire raged primarily through low brush that burned fiercely, but quickly, producing tremendous heat in the process.

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In some cases, extremely heavy smoke preceded and accompanied the fire, Catt says, with visibility reduced to less than 40 or 50 yards. The fire itself swept through the area at an amazing rate, feeding on low-to-the-ground fuel and fanned by wind.

In many cases, Catt says, the San Diego fire swept so quickly through areas where horses were kept that burns to their bodies were superficial rather than deep-seated. The story was first told by Stephanie Church in the December 2003 issue of The Horse (www.TheHorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=4761) and involves a 30-year-old gelding named Yankee.

His owner is Carol Pride, whose house and stable were located in Wildcat Canyon, directly in the fire ’s path. Everything plastic in Yankee’s stall, including his buckets, melted from the heat, and he was burned and lacerated from the debris.

Today, says Catt, Yankee has some facial paralysis, and sunscreen is required to protect burned spots on his face and neck, but his owner is once again enjoying him as her personal riding horse. Loss of vegetation has also been detrimental to the landscape in a number of instances, he says, with erosion and landslides occurring.

There also are cases, Catt notes, where insurance coverage didn’t keep pace with a rapidly accelerating housing market. In 2000, for example, severe drought conditions and wildfires destroyed thousands of acres of habitat for this country’s wild horse and donkey population.

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The Bureau of Land Management at the time faced the need for emergency gathers of up to 4,000 wild horses just to keep them from starving to death. Very few horses were killed by those wildfires, but the death sentence was just as certain if their limited feed supply was destroyed by blazes.

It was summer of 1988, and a group of us had ridden into a favorite area in the Bear tooth Mountains of Montana along the Stillwater River–not all that far from Yellowstone National Park. As was normal for us when in that area, our first day’s ride took us nine miles deep into the wilderness and a lovely camping spot along the Stillwater River.

As we neared our planned campsite, we spotted a small fire burning in a patch of timber across the river. We had about decided we should ride out when a forest service airplane appeared overhead and began circling the fire.

Relieved of the reporting responsibility, we camped along the river that night and the next day continued our pack trip deeper and higher into the wilderness. We returned a couple of days later to lay over at our original camping spot on the Stillwater and ride out to the trailhead the next morning.

With misgivings on the part of some members of the group, we camped there overnight and rode out early the next morning through smoke as the wind began to shift. We were traveling homeward the next day when we heard some excited radio commentators talking about how the wind had shifted and the fire had jumped the Stillwater River.

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It was now burning on both sides of the stream and bearing down on the small town of Cooke City, Mont. They can act as a chimney to a forest or brush fire with flames roaring up them at incredible speed.

In some cases, an exposed knob along the trail can be a good place to take refuge as the fire burns around you. Independence Day fireworks may enthrall your community, but for the horses nearby the celebration can be extremely stressful.

Each year, she adds, there are media reports of injuries or deaths in horses who were spooked by the pyrotechnics. “Almost yearly, petitions float around lobbying for a ban on fireworks in New Zealand, partly due to the anxiety they cause in animals.

Recently, the national fire service and the Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals promoted a legally binding referendum to try to have private use of fireworks made illegal. Half of the respondents identified as living on “lifestyle blocks,” which are the equivalent of small “barrettes” in suburban areas of the United States.

Overall, 26 percent of respondents indicated that their horses had sustained injuries associated with firework-related anxiety, the most common being cuts and strains or sprains. Agronomist says another option is habituation---exposing a horse to the stimulus until he is no longer upset by it---but the nature of fireworks displays makes that an impractical solution.

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David Amicus8/12/17 4:37 Maybe because they were created by Neptune a sea deity. Ned Latham8/12/17 8:22 PM David Minus wrote: > > Maybe because they were created by Neptune a sea deity.

Domesticated animals, > > including man, are unafraid in situations where it's clearly > > under control, but otherwise, it's terrifying. A high rise in London did a towering inferno a few weeks AGP.

The intensity of the fire was blamed on the building's external cladding. Ed Cryer8/13/17 5:14 AM And, as you say, it's created terror and recriminations that have spread all across the UK.

But I mentioned it only as part of my response to the question in the subject line. David Amicus8/13/17 10:19 AMI heard of the fire but not the details.

I hear most of the news on the top of the hour on the radio. David Amicus8/13/17 2:54 PM Love is warmth and Hell is the absence of God's Love thus the pit of the Inferno is ice-cold where Lucifer is trapped.

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David Amicus8/13/17 4:57 PM Re: Why Are Horses Afraid Of Fire ? Ed Cryer8/14/17 5:13 Amit's rather ironic that these days “inferno” means fire.

David Amicus8/14/17 10:26 AM Re: Why Are Horses Afraid Of Fire ? John W. Kennedy8/14/17 11:36 Abby Dante’s time, it more or less meant the Christian Hell as such (“Hell”, remember, is Germanic).

But Dante’s Hell (the frank title of the first volume of Sayers’ translation) more fire than ice. The ice is all in the ninth circle, home of traitors.

-- John W. Kennedy “The blind rulers of Ogres Nourished the land on a fallacy of rational virtue.” Ed Cryer8/14/17 2:01 PM Lucifer lies kind of at the center of all gravity (Aristotle's gravity, that is), while God and Beatrice sit high above all that.

Article Summary To tell if a horse is frightened, watch its ears to see if they're flicking back and forth, perched forward, or turned outwards, which are all signs that a horse is alert and anxious. You should also listen and watch for forceful exhales, like your horse is snorting, which could indicate that it's afraid.

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The foes were malignant, they had crept up stealthily under the cover of the night, and they intended to pounce upon the man of God, and arrest him with violence. They had been told that the prophet had been the cause of all their defeats, so they would feel very spiteful and vindictive, and would be anxious to capture the man they regarded as their greatest enemy.

THE PROPHET ELISHA IN THE MIDST OF THE SYRIAN ARMY A TYPE OF EVERY TRUE DEFENDER OF THE TRUTH. Elisha was unarmed with carnal weapons; and he had not gone to Dothan to destroy men's lives, but to save them.

He had not gone to Dothan to spend his time in idleness, for, early in the morning, he and his servant were on the move to prosecute their work and fulfil their mission. He did not make flesh his arm, nor trust for deliverance upon what he could see with the eye of sense.

Cod had already shown him that he had a great host on his side; and now he wishes that his servant may see the army too. THE HORSES AND CHARIOTS OF FIRE UPON THE MOUNTAIN, AN EMBLEM OF THE FORCES THAT ARE EVER BATTLING ON THE SIDE OF TRUTH.

The horses and chariots of fire, formidable and real as they were, were not palpable to human sight. Elisha was completely surrounded by celestial warriors; the army from the sky was mustered and marshalled as if on the eve of a terrible battle.

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The horses and chariots of Syria in the valley would be as nothing compared with this great host of fire upon the mountains. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

My “what-if” mentality persisted well into adulthood until I finally realized that there was a lot I could do to decrease the chances of dangerous horse experiences. While horses can be dangerous, risks can be substantially mitigated with things like knowledge, situational awareness, and safety equipment.

Yet, if you ask any seasoned equestrian about how the risks associated with horses influence their decisions to ride, the vast majority will tell you that danger and injury are a negligible part of horse riding and pale in comparison to the appeal of horse/human partnership. Most equestrians agree they gain far more than they risk by spending time with horses.

Practical preparedness includes, at minimum, a proper-fitting helmet, safe footwear, and a qualified coach or mentor. Boots that are safe for horseback riding have at least a 1 heel that minimizes the chances of accidentally getting stuck in the stirrups during a fall and causing you to be dragged by the horse.

Boots with heels also help you keep your feet securely in the stirrups, increasing your balance, while riding. Safety gear is essential, but finding a qualified and knowledgeable equestrian guide also is critical.

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The emergency dismount is a method of jumping off a horse’s back quickly in case things get out of hand. Stay Calm If you haven’t noticed already, you will soon find that horses are incredibly intuitive animals.

Instead, they simply sense your fear, and think that your emotions are cueing them in on a greater danger… like tigers! There are several things that new horse riders can learn from basic equine psychology.

Another thing you need to realize is that horses can be startled easily, so don’t make big, sudden movements around them. Likewise, don’t make loud and unprecedented noises that might scare them.

A strong but peaceful presence will foster trust between you and any horse you encounter. We get to interact with remarkable, profoundly intuitive creatures that genuinely want to be our friends.

She focuses on communication between horse and rider, with an emphasis in kind training tactics. She resides in Auburn, WA, USA, with her husband, and daylights as a non-profit administrator.

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1 grammarist.com - https://grammarist.com/idiom/sharp-as-a-tack/
2 idioms.thefreedictionary.com - https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/(as)+sharp+as+a+tack
3 learn-english-today.com - https://learn-english-today.com/idioms/idiom-categories/comparisons/comparisons-sim3-assca-aswhi.html
4 www.solutioncrossword.com - https://www.solutioncrossword.com/sharp-tack-example
5 www.answerbag.com - https://www.answerbag.com/q_view/1066716
6 www.eslcafe.com - https://www.eslcafe.com/resources/grammar-lessons/figurative-expressions/figurative-expressions-as-___-as-an-___-6
7 englishlive.ef.com - https://englishlive.ef.com/blog/career-english/career-english-business-idioms/
8 blog.abaenglish.com - https://blog.abaenglish.com/australian-idioms-better-than-a-poke-in-the-eye-with-a-burnt-stick/
9 encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com - https://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/tack+on
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