Category Archives: Horse Stories

The floods in Australia: What to think about during high water emergencies!






A distressed reader from Australia sent in a list of Equine Flood Preparedness.   The distraught woman is Down Under, watching her friends a family (and herself) struggle with their homes and animals — and she felt helpless.  The only thing she could think of to do was post a list for others so they wouldn’t suffer what she and her countrymen are suffering.

I thought this was a lovely gesture on her part and I wanted to pass on her gift onto you.  Maybe all of us can keep the flooded families in our prayers.

SOME PHOTOS, IN CASE YOU MISSED THESE ON THE NEWS…

This was titled, Tsunami

This is a two story building... the family is on the roof.

FIRST OF ALL… OMG.  WATCH THIS

OK, we might not be realizing the HUGE amount of water over a HUGE amount of space in Australia.  This flood is the size of California, Nevada and Maine COMBINED…  Imagine having to rescue people and animals from this large of an area!  Imagine the amount of coordination and expertise needed.  This is a way, way, way larger area than the floods of New Orleans.  (I’m not downplaying the devastation, just comparing.)

Watch this video… You will see a boat, piloted by a charitable Vietnam Veteran who didn’t know these horses, saving a thrashing cow and you will see horses hanging onto the roof of their barn (who were saved although injured).

This is a swimming horse... Click to watch the short video of the devastation. The horses in this video, laying their heads on the roofs were saved!

THIS MAN IS COMFORTING AND RESCUING A HORSE HE DOESN’T KNOW

This video really touched me.  You don’t realize until the end that the man comforting the horse and the horse don’t even know each other!  The horse is confused and breaks away to swim towards the government helpers where the cows are on higher ground.  When the horse finds land, the government worker asks the man if it is his horse.  He says, No.  And the rescuer says that this must be that horse’s lucky day.

This man is saving a horse he doesn't even know...Click to watch!

NEW VIDEOS FROM NEWS STATIONS IN AUSTRALIA!

Here is a link of news station videos from Australia.  If you go to the third video down on the right, you will hear the story of the dramatic rescue of the horses who were hanging onto the roof in the above video.

STORIES FROM THE FLOODS

The distressed reader sent me this link from her local webnews.  It appears that the government agency that deals with Emergencies (SES) has stepped in and is doing the best that they can to rescue people and their animals:

Published on Wednesday, January 5, 2011
More updates on horse rescues during Queensland floods…  The Australian Stock Horse Society’s Facebook page has reported that the Chinchilla SES Boat Crew assisted in saving horses on Warregold Stock Horse Stud when 95% of their property went under water. WARREGOLD CINDY was stranded on a dry knob in the rising floodwaters. The SES rescued Cindy by swimming her over 1km to dry land, and saved a number of other horses with their boat crew. Warregold Stock Horse Stud are indebted to the SES for their persistence and hard work.

The mare being escorted by the SES boat.

INTERESTING COMMENTARY

Obviously, this region, although vast (the size of California, Nevada and Maine COMBINED!) is far less populated than the US.  I found this news article refreshing… People have ideas they hope to implement.   And they thought AHEAD and flew in more inspectors (helpers) before the airports closed.

Overhead view

“A lot did manage to do that,” he said, “some, however, did not have high ground available to which stock could be moved.  It is too early to give any indication of livestock losses in the flood, which has inundated an area the size of California, Nevada and Maine combined”.  He added, “I know in a lot of cases [owners] thought they had gotten [their livestock] on to what was higher ground but then that ground went under as well.”

Mr Beatty has advised that in Rockhampton, the RSPCA had set up a foster scheme through which people who had not been forced to evacuate could foster pets for a time.  However, it was unclear whether the scheme could ultimately meet the demand in the face of the rising Fitzroy.  The temporary animal shelter set up in Rockhampton is full – with 82 cats and dogs now in residence.  “The problem is some people would be happy to foster pets but the body corporates in some of these apartments and town houses are just saying ‘no pets’,” says Mr Beatty, “so we’d like them to show a bit of compassion to be honest. It is a fairly volatile and difficult situation, surely they can relax the rules for a couple of weeks?”

As water levels in Queensland continue to rise, with peaks not expected in some areas until tomorrow, RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty has confirmed that inspectors helped rescue around 20 horses in the last week, some forced to swim behind boats to escape the rising waters.

Rockhampton, one of the major danger areas for rising waters, normally has only one inspector, however, the RSPCA flew in several others before the airport was closed – Rockhampton is currently closed to all transport – with road, rail and air access points all flooded.

Beautiful photo under horrible conditions

IF YOU KNOW A FLOOD MIGHT HAPPEN – DO THESE THINGS!

1)  Don’t dilly dally.  EVACUATE.  Don’t leave the horses in any barn or paddock.  If you cannot take them with you, let them free.  HOWEVER…

2)  Before you let them free, REMOVE all blankets and halters or anything that could get caught when they are swimming

3)  BRAID their information into their mane or forelock or tail.  You can use a baggie with string through the top or write with waterproof pen onto a wider ribbon and weave that in tightly.

4)  DISCONNECT any electrical fencing.  Get them out of any area with barbed wire.

5)  STORE FEED in a dry place.  Right now, the flooded towns have a shortage of hay as it was all ruined.

6)  If they aren’t microchipped or branded, take excellent photos.  Locate their papers and bring the papers with you.

7)  MARK you horse with waterproof but safe colors.  One owner wrote her phone number on her horse’s coat with zinc oxide!

REALLY HELPFUL LINKS

I’m posting two links which are Flood Bulletins from Australia.

1)  FLOOD AND YOUR HORSE (click here)  I’ve shown this brochure in an image but you can click on the link to download it.  I found the paragraph about sanitation and carcass disposal vital even if it is a bit gruesome. Someone has to talk about these things and give helpful information.

Brochure on floods and your horse. Click to enlarge

2)  FLOOD AND YOUR HORSE PROPERTY (click here)  I’ve pictured this brochure as well but you can click to download it for yourselves.  I found this article interesting if you have crops or pastureland.  I would have never thought about soil testing…

Brochure #2. Click to enlarge

FACEBOOK PAGES DEDICATED TO THE FLOODS IN AUSTRALIA

I found two FB pages that originated in Australia.  Both of these pages are following the events.

Facebook 1:  This one is a helpful listing of all pages devoted to this disaster.

List of Qld Flood Facebook Groups and Pages  (link)

Facebook 2:  This one has videos and dramatic stories.

Australian flood emergency links 2011  (link)

THIS JUST IN!!

The lovely reader from Australia who initially sent me the idea for this blog just sent this to me!  I love that one woman identified her horse with Zinc Oxide!  Smart!  Here is what our good reader Down Under had to say tonight just before I posted this:

The horse rescues around Brisbane and North Queensland as well as Horse Welfare Australia are asking for donations to help horses to go to the Queensland RSPCA. Our RSPCA relies on donations because they receive very little government support. So if you end up writing the post, that is how readers can help.

RSPCA donations can be made at https://donate.rspcaqld.org.au/flood

Just to let you know too if you’re interested we found 12 of my friends horses (very sadly, a mare and 2 foals are still missing), 9 of those 10 Appaloosa’s I wrote about in the first post have survived! The owner was rescued from the roof of his by helicopter but luckily he set them free before the water came and they were waiting for him at his gate when he could get back to the property!

Now we are just waiting for the water to recede and fingers crossed there will be more happy endings (a horse was found with its owners phone number on its rump written in suncreen zinc!).

FINAL VIDEO

I liked this video because the owners of some of these horses are calling to them from higher ground.  The horses perk up and come running.  I’m thinking the horses didn’t really want to brave the rushing waters to get to the other side… but the voice of Mom really helped coax them.  A nice video to end this unsettling story.

Click to watch! They hear their human calling to them...

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JANUARY DROP IN THE BUCKET FUND:  THE PIUTE ORPHAN FOALS

To learn all about the Bucket Fund and to donate the the ‘Saved from Slaughter Orphan Foals’, please click on the photo (photo credit, Trish Lowe)

Click to help the Orphan Foals




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Sad Story. But maybe knowing about this can help you in your community…






I hesitated writing about this today because I just didn’t see any benefit of relaying this sad story…  Then Hubby suggested that there are several issues at play here and maybe knowing this story would help any of you who live in communities like this where horses are on roadways.

SAD STORY

A well known horseman lives in an LA suburb.  The suburb grew up around his little ranch.  He was used to riding around his neighborhood and he continued to do so after it transformed into more of a city than a country area.

The new roads around his house were fitted with storm drains.   The streets were paved.  Cars whizzed by.  But, this horseman still rode his horses around his neighborhood.

The horseman is 100 years old.  His favorite horse was 24.  This month, they were riding on the roads around his house and a car came whizzing by… The horse was startled and her shoes slipped on the metal grate of the storm drain which was covered by wet leaves.  The old rider was thrown and the mare got her back legs caught in the storm drain.  After 5 hours of veterinary care, the mare could not be saved due to extensive nerve damage in her back legs.  The rider was OK.

The old man couldn’t contain his tears when he said that she was the best horse he had ever owned.

The car that whizzed by never stopped.

THE CONTROVERSY

There is so much controversy… Metal shoes, horses on roads, storm drain safety, hard of hearing riders, speed bumps, lack of designated trails… the list goes on and on.

TRAGEDY

Truth is, this is a tragedy, pure and simple.  The old guy should be able to ride his favorite horse.  The old guy probably thought shoes were the best thing for his mare.  Any 100 year old person will be hard of hearing.  Storm drains are not made for safety.  Cities don’t want to designate land for trails.  Drivers are very ignorant to horses.  Some drivers are idiots.

You can read the news story via this link.

THE GOOD NEWS

The good news is that this old guy is not stopped by the loss of his horse.  He has others.  The good news is that he can still ride and care for his horses at 100 years old.  The good news is that his vet worked for 5 hours to save his mare.  The good news is that this community is in uproar over the accident.  The good news is that this story made it into the LA Times.

WATCH THE VIDEO

This video which was part of the news story is not sad.  Actually, it is kindof inspirational.  It shows this old guys mucking stalls, haltering his mule, loving on his Paint and tying up the mule for a photo opportunity with the videographer.

As Hubby said, “I hope I’m that active at 100!”

Click to watch video and read the news story...

MY THOUGHTS

My basic thoughts are that this accident was tragic and I’m disgusted that the driver got away.  I, personally, hate to ride on paved roads but I think that 100 year old guys should be able to ride on roads safely.  I think that idiots in cars who think all horses are like Trigger are ignorant and ought to be schooled.

I think storm drains are awfully dangerous and I never walk on them, let alone ride over them — eeesh, they give me the willies.

I think this guy is an inspiration in that he is still smiling, he is still mucking and he’s still riding.

IN CONCLUSION

People are now talking about modifying storm drains in this county.  Huge arguments are ensuing over this.  Other people are pushing for mandated riding trails.  Mothers are talking about how this horse could have been one of their kids…

So, this story is tragic, I agree.  But, I am choosing to think that this horse gave her life so that perhaps her buddy could have another year or two of better riding circumstances.  Or that maybe she gave her life so that her buddy could be an inspiration to others.  Or, maybe she gave her life for nothing…  Maybe she just died because of a stupid series of mishaps.

But, since we always have the choice of how we perceive our lives, I choose to believe that she gave her life so that a light could be shined on some issues and on her longtime, benevolent owner.

And, I choose to believe that the guy driving the car will get his sooner than later…  Anyone that rude and insensitive and foolish must piss off a lot of people — often.  So, that person will have a miserable existence.  Maybe that person will be doomed to live 100 years in his miserable life, never to know that kindness of “the best horse a guy has ever had….”

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Click for the Bucket Fund! The last donations for 2010!




HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!