Helping your horse deal with fireworks.
It’s that time of year!
We are fast approaching the time of the year where horses can be stressed the most. Starting with the weekend of Halloween, in many cases the following few weekends too. We are of course talking about Fireworks!
There is not much rest bite before the celebrations of Christmas and New Year bring more loud bangs to the sky. Yes the colours are very pretty but with this comes a great deal of stress for our horses and other pets.
With all this in mind we have put together a helpful guide;
There is a very likely chance that this first point is not something thought about by many.
Whilst it would not be your fault if your horse gets spooked by a loud bang or firework, it could affect you. If your horse was to escape and cause/be involved in an accident it may be classed as you that are liable.
Naturally we are considering this as a worst-case scenario, but it is possible. You could get covered by a third-party liability insurance policy.
Knowledge of local area events are a big help when it comes to this time of year.
A firework event is not something that can normally pop up out of nowhere. It must be planned and therefore advertised weeks, if not months, in advance. Knowing where the local area place this information also helps.
Social media pages, local notice boards, newspapers and magazines are all likely to carry information on upcoming events as well. You can talk to your neighbours to find out if they are planning any displays in their gardens.
You could always ask Google as well, like we did here.
Keeping your normal routine is essential. It is well known that sudden changes in routine can be unsettling, this is the same for your horse.
The only major exception to a change of routine is if your field is close to one taking part in a display. If not, and your horse is normally out, keep them out. If they are, consider moving them for the night.
It goes without saying that you need to remain calm yourself. Your horse will pick up on any form of unease you have especially if their senses are already heightened. It is also unadvisable to risk riding your horse on these evenings.
There are some that believe, if done early enough, that you can train your horse to not react as much. More commonly known as desensitising, introducing noises and bright lights can reduce their reaction to fireworks.
Playing noises to your horse and gradually raising the volume can work in two ways. You can increase the volume over a period of time so that the loud noises don’t startle your horse. Especially helpful when it comes to fireworks.
It also allows the option of playing a radio channel or music to drown out the sound.
Prevention is better than cure.
You may think that if you stable your horse, they will be safe and well. In most cases they most certainly will. However, it is worth checking for any potential hazards that may seem innocent enough.
A slippery floor could cause havoc for a spooked horse, and is a potential accident that could cause significant injury. Sharp edges anywhere in the stable, could cause cuts and scrapes. Objects sticking out, such as nails, would also cause pain and injury to your horse.
Make sure that all gates or fenced off areas are secure, you wouldn’t want to run the risk of your horse being able to escape.
That concludes the guide “Helping your horse deal with fireworks”, we hope you have found it useful.
Have you any helpful tips you have used to help your horses in the past?
Share them in the comments below.