Big bangs and bright lights can be a source of entertainment for many, however, even the most sensible of horses can become frightened.
With so many large, organised events cancelled this year, we are expecting to see lots of smaller, local displays taking place on or around the 5th of November.
Here4Horses supports any future ban on the use of fireworks outside specially organised public events. We believe this will help minimise disturbance to vulnerable people, wildlife and pets.
Until then, we hope the wise words shared by Perkins below, will keep both you and your animal friends safe this November.
Be a detective – Use social media and speak to your neighbours, to discover how close displays will be to your yard, field or home.
Once you are informed – It is wise to get times and ask whether the display can be moved away from your horse’s yard or field.
No need for change – Carry on as normal. If your horse lives out, keep them out. If they are stabled, stable them. Familiarity is key and any change to routine could cause additional stress. However, if you are immediately next door to a firework display and your horses are naturally anxious, you may want to consider moving them elsewhere for a couple of nights.
Fix those fences and check for anything sharp – Check fence perimeters regularly to ensure no sharp nails or gaps in fencing.
Involve others – Socially distanced of course – perhaps put the radio on, close the barn doors and order a pizza. You will then be on hand, to reassure your horse and act quickly if there is an emergency.
Raise concerns with your vet – If your horse is particularly nervous or you know that they are easily ‘spooked’ by fireworks, it could be a good idea to speak to your vet about using a mild sedative.
Ensure you leave contact details – If you are not at the yard, it is wise to be contactable. Leave your own details and your vet’s details in case of emergency.
No to riding – It is wise to avoid evening riding around Bonfire Night. A couple of evenings off, surely outweighs the risk of your horse becoming frightened and potentially having an accident.
It is important to be prepared – Should your horse(s) have past issues with fire or fireworks, have the yard address, postcode and any relevant directions readily available should you need to call 999. This will help you to be clear if you are in distress.
Galloping horses, or a frightened, stabled horse can be dangerous – Be careful when handling an anxious horse. You will be of little use, if you are injured whilst trying to manage a situation.
Have third party liability insurance (as a precaution) – If your horse is frightened and escapes, causing an accident, then you could be held liable for compensation.
The morning after – Make sure you check your field for any debris or damage. You may also want to consider some appropriate desensitisation training to help your horse cope in testing situations, even if things went well this time. Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in training opportunities near you.
We hope you found our top tips useful.
Click here to download our poster and perhaps print a copy to display in your yard, for the benefit of others.
Please also share a link to this page and encourage your horsey friends to do the same.