The fireworks season can be stressful for horses and their owners. During the fireworks, horses can be startled by the loud noises and may need support to keep them safe and calm.
Bear in mind that fireworks can continue until the New Year, which can also make this period stressful for horses and their owners. Common signs that your horse might be stressed or anxious include:
- Tail swishing
- Repetitive head movements
- Flared nostrils
- Decreased appetite
To help even the calmest of horses from getting spooked during the fireworks, here are some positive things you could do to help minimise stress:
Prepare in advance and be aware of when fireworks will be going off and check for local displays in your area.
Speak to neighbours
Don’t set off any fireworks near your horse’s field and speak to neighbours to let them know that there are horses nearby.
Stick to their routine
If your horse is usually stabled, keep them stabled. Be sure to exercise them earlier in the day before the fireworks start. Don’t change their routine or familiar environment as this could upset them.
Check their field is secure
If your horse is usually kept in a field, it’s fine to keep them there as long as they are safe and away from any displays. Be sure to check the field is secure so that your horse cannot escape if they get scared.
Try to keep calm yourself, as horses can pick up on our stress and this might lead to unwanted behaviour.
Stay safe yourself when around your horse and be aware of changes in their behaviour to prevent getting hurt if your horse gets startled.
Don’t ride during fireworks
Don’t ride your horse during the fireworks. Yourself or your horse could get injured if your horse gets scared.
Play music into stable
If your horse is stabled, keep a radio on or music playing just outside the stable to mask loud bangs and to help to soothe your horse.
Stay with your horse
If you know that fireworks are being set off close to where your horse is kept, make sure that you or someone experienced stays with them to help keep them calm.
Check their field the next day
During fireworks season, before letting your horse out into the field in the day, always check for used fireworks and anything that could be dangerous to your horse.
If you are concerned about your horse and their behaviour during this time speak your vet. Ask your vet about nutracalm, which has a unique formula specifically developed to naturally help to reduce stress and anxiety in horses.