It’s that time of the year again when the nights draw in and we celebrate Guy Fawkes Night with fireworks. Although firework displays can be exciting, they can be a nightmare for horse owners.
A recent study by Petplan Equine found that 60% of animals became distressed by loud noises and flashing lights, making the firework season a stressful time of the year for horse owners. Check out these top tips to help keep your horse calm and safe during firework displays:
– Try to find out details of any planned firework displays that are close to your stables. Explain to the organiser that you have horses nearby and ask them to ensure fireworks are set off in the opposite direction.
– It can be tempting to move your horse away for the night, however, this can cause more stress to you and your equine friend. Try and keep your horse in a familiar environment and in its normal routine to help it feel safe and secure.
– If your horse does react particularly badly to fireworks, try and arrange for them to stay in another familiar environment or with a trusted friend.
– If your horse normally roams the fields, try to avoid causing stress by stabling him. You must ensure that all fencing and gates are secure as loud noises may cause your horse to panic and try to escape.
– Covering your horse’s ears or leaving a radio on outside the stable can help muffle the sound of the fireworks and help keep your horse calm.
– Distractions work a treat to help your horse stay calm and keep its mind away from the fireworks. Make sure he has plenty of hay to keep him busy.
– Make sure you look after yourself. Staying with your horse through firework displays can help keep them calm, but try to keep your distance if they get startled to protect yourself from injury. Also, it is not advised to try and ride your horse during a display, if they become frightened you may lose control and put yourself at risk.
– Finally, after the displays are over, check your fields for any stray fireworks or damage, as this could cause injury at a later date.
For more information about keeping your horse safe and fireworks laws, check out the Blue Cross firework fact sheet