Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Please Think Twice Before Lighting Fireworks- A Tribute To Our Beautiful Grey Mare Lou

We've had a terrible start to the new year.

At nine this morning I had a call from ma who lives down the road in the New Forest to say she'd found her grey mare Lou dead.

At first, when she went out to check the horses this morning, she couldn't see her in the field and thought she had been stolen. Then she noticed the broken fence, saw the hoof marks running in a straight line down to the next fence, which was also broken, and finally found her lying dead in the field beyond. She had bolted through two fences and across three fields.

There was no sign of trauma or injury, no bruising, no cuts. We suspect she had a heart attack, brought on by the terror of fireworks going off last night.

When the man came to collect her body he told me New Year's Day is the same every year for horses dying. Because they are petrified of fireworks and when horses are afraid they run in blind panic either onto or through fences or, as with Lou, the terror causes their hearts to fail. 

And it isn't just horses - Teddy is petrified of them, to the extent that I won't go out on New Year's Eve any more because he needs our reassurance that he is safe until the awful sounds stop.

Isn't it time we did more to protect all animals, wild and domestic, from these wretched things that flash and bang loudly for a few seconds for our entertainment and then are gone, leaving, for my family this morning, utter heart break in their wake?

Lou was 12, in her prime, fit and healthy, much loved and very well cared for and today we are all in deep shock and mourning her loss. It has been the most awful start to a new year that I can ever remember. She was the sweetest mare; kind, gentle, loving, and my mother's closest companion. They had a bond of trust between them that was very deep. They shared many lovely happy rides out across the forest together, many special magical moments you only get when you have that amazing connection with your horse. Lou gave ma so much, at a time in her life when she thought she was too old to start riding again and get back into having horses. She restored ma's confidence in so many subtle ways as well as bringing her health and vitality, and today my poor mother is distraught at the loss of her best friend. 

Please, please think twice before lighting fireworks, especially if you know there are horses in nearby fields.

Rest in peace lovely Lou, we will miss you so very much.








24 comments:

  1. What an awful start to the new year for your family. Loosing such a wonderful mare and companion just because of the fireworks. Twinkle was petrified last night too and is very jumpy today despite being inside with us last night. Thinking of you all, it's so sad.
    Sarah x

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    1. Thanks Sarah. I feel pretty flat right now x

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  2. What a terrible thing to happen! I am so sorry. Lou sounds the most wonderful horse and I can understand how shocked and devastated you all must be.

    Having ponies in fields at the edge of a New Forest village, we have just the same fears as you and I have come to hate fireworks going off .
    Last night we didn`t have any, as nature was providing a thunder and lightening show right over our heads. I imagine that the fireworks will come belatedly, as soon as we have the first dry night of 2014!
    Sadly, there are so many people living in the country now who do not know or care about the havoc that their "entertainment" can cause.

    I wonder if Lou was spooked by the storm as well as fireworks. Could she even have been struck by lightening?

    Sending thoughts and condolences to your Mum. It is a dreadful thing to lose a much loved horse in any circumstances, but this mare was obviously her horse of a lifetime. RIP Lou xx

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    1. They did have some thunder last night which probably didn't help but she's been out in storms before with no problems. I think it's the quick-fire repeating gunshot sound of fireworks that does the damage and drives them into a panic-sticken bolt where they just don't see fences. Can't believe it's happened. We're all numb. You're absolutely right Lou was mum's horse of a lifetime. She was irreplaceable. I'll pass the message on to mum. So glad all of yours were OK last night- I think I shall always hate new years now. x

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  3. I am so, so sorry, dear friend. Nothing I can say can relieve the hurt you all feel right now, so I'll just say I am thinking of you and your Mum and shall light a candle for you all and your special horse, Lou.

    You are right, of course - animals should not suffer because of the selfish entertainment requirements of the few. Horrible, horrible.

    Be kind to yourselves for the next few days. Xx

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    1. Thank you my dear friend. It's such a huge comfort to know your friends are thinking of you and I know it means a lot to ma today too. X

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  4. A dreadful story CT and may I pass on my deep and sincere condolences to you and your family after this appalling and distressing incident.

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    1. Thank you David. That is very much appreciated x

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  5. What terrible news, so sorry for your loss xx

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    1. Thank you Gemma. It's been a truly horrible day for us x

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  6. Oh I am so sorry for such a tragic accident .
    Being a horse person I understand what you are saying .
    So sorry for the loss of your moms beautiful , sweet mare.
    May she rest in peace.

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    1. Thank you Willow. A horrid day for us all here and one I will be glad to see finish.

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  7. So very sorry to hear this CT, my thoughts are with you and your mother. It's a devastating thing to have happened. x

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  8. What a shock, for all of you, but most of all your mum!

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  9. I'm so so sorry to hear about the tragic incident and your mum losing her horse. You must all be so devastated - what a horrible way to start the year. My thoughts are with you all.

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    1. Thanks Caroline. An utterly horrible day yesterday, but we are feeling a little calmer today. We will all miss her so much.

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  10. I'm so very sorry to hear your sad story. What a dreadful thing to happen to such a beautiful creature and companion. Thinking of you xx

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    1. Thank you Caroline. We really appreciate everyone's kindness so much. Things are a little easier today- you have to go forward I guess. Hope all is well with you x

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  11. A horrible start to the year and I'm so sorry for you all. Such a young horse too.

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    1. It was the worst thing that could possibly have happened to one of our horses and I'm fuming about fireworks because of it. A pointless waste of a beautiful horse's life. I just hope people will start to realise how dangerous these wretched things are and think about animals nearby before they set them off.

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  12. Hello CT - I've just caught up on your sad news. I'm really sorry to hear about Lou and my thoughts are with your ma. I always worry about domestic and wild animals when I hear fireworks - I can just imagine their panic, but obviously others don't even think about it (or don't care). It's infuriating and depressing.

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    1. Thanks Wendy. Everyone has been so kind it has helped a great deal. I shall be avoiding fireworks from now on- they will be tainted forever more for me. Just hope this post might have made folks think about it who may not have been aware of the effect they can have.

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x