Yes, those fires in southern California that you are seeing on the television news are affecting horses. The San Diego area is believed to be home to 300,000 horses and it sounds like quite a scramble is on to find places for those fortunate enough to be evacuated by owners prepared for emergencies.
An excellent article in today’s San Diego paper (San Diego Online) gives some insight into what horse owners are experiencing as they try to find places where their horses can be housed in safety.
Highly recommended for ALL horse owners, no matter where you live: watch this short video of Associate Press interviews from the Del Mar fairgrounds, just north of San Diego, where you will see horses and owners trying to cope with the evacuation. And these are the fortunate ones, the ones who were able to mobilize and get their animals out of harm’s way.
As one owner says, “If you can’t get your horse to load, you’re in trouble.”
The video also shows one owner being turned away and referred to a facility in Thermal, California, to the east, on the other side of the fire zone. Except the fires are coming from the east, and it’s not easy to get through. The fires are literally herding the horses to the coast.
What if this happened in your neighborhood? Do you have a plan? Do you have a functional truck and trailer, or a share plan with another owner? Would you or a stranger be able to load your horse quickly?
What’s your plan? Would it work today?