Horses and fireworks

Keeping your horse safe on Bonfire Night

Bonfire Night can be stressful for both horses and horse owners.

The calmest of horses can become frightened by the unfamiliar loud noises and flashes of bright light.

There are some things you can do to prepare….

  • Find out when and where the firework displays will be in your area. You could look in local press, social media and shop notice boards.
  • Inform local firework display organisers and neighbours that there are horses nearby, so they can ensure fireworks are set off well away from them.
  • Decide whether to stable your horse or leave it in the field. Horses like routine, so try and keep as close to your usual routine as possible. If it is usually stabled, keep it stabled. If it is normally out in the field, keep it there as long as it is safe, secure and not close to the firework display area.
  • Check for anything that could cause injury to your horse:
    – If stabled, look for things such as protruding nails.
    – If your horse is to stay in the field, check that fencing is not broken and that there are no foreign objects lying around.
  • Ensure that you, or someone experienced, stays with your horse if you know that fireworks are being set off.
    If you have to leave your horse in the care of another person during a firework display, then be sure to leave clear instructions with contact details for both you and your vet.
  • Discuss with your vet about sedation or perhaps consider moving your horse for the night.
  • Playing music on a radio positioned outside the stable can often mask sudden noise, distract attention and be soothing.
  • Stay calm, as horses will sense that you are anxious and that could increase their fears.
  • A startled horse can be dangerous, so try not to get in the way if a horse becomes frightened as you could easily be injured yourself.
  • Remember that Chinese lanterns (also known as sky lanterns) can cause harm to livestock and wildlife.

If you wish to discuss concerns about your horse with us, please call 01772 861300


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