Many people enjoy bonfire night, but for horse owners it can be a worrying time.
Horses are often upset by both the sound and sight of fireworks going off.
Here are some ideas that can help you and your horse have a less stressful night:
Find out where the displays are going to be in your area. If you keep your horse at home you could pop a note round to all your neighbours to ask if they are going to have a bonfire party and if so when and what time.
If displays are going to be nearby it’s best to stable your horse; sometimes just shutting the top door to lessen the effect of the flashing lights can help.
Put a radio on to mask the noise of the fireworks.
Give your horse plenty of hay to keep it occupied.
Check your horse during the evening to make sure they are ok. If you can, it’s often a good idea to stay with them because your presence may have a calming effect.
Sometimes it’s a good idea to put cotton wool into their ears to muffle the sound. Not all horses will accept this, so consider your horse’s temperament, but it can make all the difference.
Make sure you have sand and water nearby in case of a fire around the stables.
If you keep your horse at livery you should be familiar with the fire drills – make sure you know where you should go with your horse.
In the morning check your field for any stray fireworks which might have landed there. It’s not uncommon for people to use fireworks to mark other occasions such as New Year or a wedding, so keep an eye out for public notices of such events.
Article replicated with kind permission from the World Horse Welfare website.