It’s that time of the year again, that as horse owners, we dread – fireworks season.
We know horses and fireworks don’t mix but we can make things a little easier and a little safer for our horses with some thought and pre-planning.
So here’s a few tips to consider around this Bonfire Night.
Make sure you know about any planned firework displays in your area. That includes organised events but don’t forget to ask your neighbours too.
Ride in the morning during firework season. Avoid evening riding including schooling or hacking if there are planned displays near you.
Try not to stress your horse on the day. If you have to move your horse to another field or another stable, do so well in advance so it gives him time to settle.
Try to stick to your usual routine. Bringing a horse in when they are not used to it could actually cause more stress.
Should you keep your horse in or out? Whatever you decide is best for your horse, don’t move him away from his companions. Horses are herd animals and can become more stressed if they are alone.
Some owners consider sedation during firework season. Contact your vet well in advance who will be able to advise if this is the best action for your horse.
In the Stable
Adding some distractions in the stable or the field is a good idea. Calmmunch fibre blocks offer a two-fold approach to calming during fireworks season for anxious or excitable horses. The carefully selected ingredients – magnesium, camomile, hops, B vitamins and vervain known for their calming properties. Hang in a Munch Net to offer a healthy, tasty distraction and extend eating time.
A treat ball with some healthy treats, such as Simplyirresistible or Crunchits low sugar treats can help distract them during fireworks season. Horse’s love variety and the mix of flavours in these delicious treats will be sure to keep your horse occupied.
Leaving a radio on nearby on the yard can help mask the noise from fireworks and can give them some security that they are not alone.
Leave the stable light on to lessen the effects of the bright fireworks.
In the Field
A sudden loud bang close by can easily frighten your horse and as horses are flight animals, minimizing the risks is important.
Check for potentials hazards in the field if the horse does spook including boundary fencing, gates and electric fencing.
Keep horses together with their usual companions if possible.
Remember to check that you have adequate 3rd party insurance. If your horse strays or damages property, you will be liable.
Check on your horses regularly or share the task with other horse owners on the same yard.
Make sure you have a fire extinguisher close at hand in preparation of any stray fireworks.
After the event, remember to check your yard or field for any old fireworks.
So with a little care and attention beforehand, the fireworks season can go by without a bang!