for horse eventers

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Quinn4321, May 31, 2011.

  1. Horizon Structures

    Horizon Structures Official BYC Sponsor

    Jul 1, 2009
    Atglen, PA
    Quote:You're lucky to be able to do that. For many, it is not that simple. It's not necessarily about having stalls, but keeping wiring inspected (mice), the barn dusted and swept, and smokers away. Yet even so, fires will still happen.
  2. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Songster

    Jul 26, 2010
    That is so horrible. How absolutely terrible. Poor horses. Poor Boyd.

    That's why I have fire alarms. The trouble is if you don't happen to be right there, the alarms may not help - if you have a lot of hay in the barn, it may even not help if you are there - my friend's hay barn fire, the fire was so hot, it melted metal bolts in the concrete pad that weren't even near the flames.

    I would recommend that anyone who has horses, take a fire safety course and be SURE they knw how to handle a LARGE fire extinguisher. Keep several of them in the barn and make sure they are charged up and checked every single year. There are a good number of barn fires that happen around inadequate wiring. Be sure your wiring is properly installed, and that any modifications you make are up to code. Owner modifications to electrical systems are often a source of fires.

    BE VERY SURE that if you have electric hot water heaters for waterers, that you open up the waterer and very, very frequently, remove any and all stray bits of dust, cobwebs and feed, bedding and hay.

    Be absolutely sure that any space heaters are checked frequently. Be sure the plugs and cords are not getting frayed, kinked or damaged. If at all possible, avoid using space heaters at all in the barn. A special source of danger is battery chargers. Be sure your tractor battery is charged VERY FAR AWAY from the barn, from hay, from bedding.

    ALSO - clean all cob webs away from walls and ceilings frequently. BE SURE cob webs are cleaned away from all conduit, wiring and electrical outlets frequently. Really consider having your hay and bedding in another building, with a fire brake distance between the two buildings.

    As a firefighter told me years ago, 'Layout, layout, layout'. Storing hay in a barn with the horses has become such a well known hazard that many insurance companies refuse to insure barns that store substantial amounts of hay in the same structure with their horses and equipment. Some insurance compnies don't insure barns that have overhead haylofts - these are recognized to increase hazards very, very substantially.

    Alarms connected to the fire department can help. There are services that can be provided (at rather a great cost). has to realize that the average fire fighter knows very little about horses. When there was a fire at a boarding barn in another county, several of the fire fighters were seriously injured trying to handle the horses. Their solution to the barn fire was to turn all the horses loose in the gravel and pavement parking lot - several horses injured themselves or each other. With 60 horses, though, there aren't enough paddocks to separate the horses sufficiently.

    For those who don't know, horses do not understand that they need to leave their stalls when there is a fire. Nor does the old trick of blindfolding them always work. Some horses refuse to move when blindfolded. I've heard that in some cases, horses have been sedated, and then are easier to remove from a barn.

    Their stall is their safe place, and they don't understand when their favorite safe place has a fire.

    It doesn't matter, though, if they don't have stalls. Wherever they feel safe, they will try to go there, whether it's a safe place in that situation or not.

    A barn overhang, a turnout shed, even a grove of trees, can become a trap for horses during a fire.

    When we built our barn we made sure we had a fire area all the way around the barn, so the fire couldn't spread to the woods or other properties (or our house).

    We also are going to fence in an area away from the barn, but what I'd really like is a 'fire lane'.

    There's a narrow lane put up at least 200' from the barn or storage buildings, and there are gates in it, so that there is a little pen created when each gate in the lane is shut - one for every stall in the barn, one little enclosure for each horse in the barn. One plan I saw had a double bar(pipe) for each little section, so the horses could not get close enough to each other to bite or kick. If the barn goes down, they could be in that lane for days, awaitig transport to a boarding stable or emergency shelter.

    The top eventers do everything they can to protect their horses. While we can't prevent every single tragedy, we can do a lot to increase our odds.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011
  3. User66184

    User66184 Songster

    Aug 23, 2010
    East Coast, Virgina
    Oh my! That is so sad. [​IMG] [​IMG]
  4. jinxschuh

    jinxschuh Chirping

    May 3, 2011
    Northern Utah
    Quote:I'm one of the lucky ones too! My barn has 2 stalls and both open right up into the pasture so the horses can come as go as they please. My gelding is a bit of a pig, and the mare is old and needs extra time to eat so we do lock her in for an hour or two at feedings through the winter to make sure she is getting enough to eat, but other then that they have at will access to the barn. They are really good at warning of any major weather coming in. If I'm out working and see them gallop up and into their stalls I know it is time for me to head in too and quite often open the door and step in the house seconds before a hail storm or pouring rain hits... LOL

    But that is so sad that they lost so many horses. We had a really bad wild fire one county over last fall that ended up evacuating a very large equine community and it was horrible. All the horses were so spooked. The Mayor had to hand walk his horses out of the evacuation zone because they were so spooke he couldn't get them loaded.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2011
  5. Quinn4321

    Quinn4321 Songster

    Aug 28, 2010
    P.A/M.D border, USA
    My Mother is a part owner of the hyperbaric oxygen chamber in fair hill training center, and today Nevels went for a donated treatment to help with his lungs, which were damaged badly. But he had the best lucks with burns, and they are not that bad.

    The fire is now thought to have originated in the Hay Gain hay cooking machine, which was in the hay loft. It was thought to have shorted out, creating the fire, which spread to all the hay.
  6. Zinnia-Hen

    Zinnia-Hen Live & Let Live

    Jan 29, 2011
    That's terrible! [​IMG]

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