It’s not just dogs that get frightened by fireworks at this time of year – horses are particularly vulnerable, especially if they are living out. But there are some things you can do to limit any potential damage.
The Blue Cross and The British Horse Society are among those organisations that offer expert advice on how to help you and your horse cope with bonfire night. We have gathered some of their top tips and a few of our own to help you survive the night in safety!
- Get pre-planning – find out if there are any local fireworks displays planned near to your horse’s field or stables – check local newspapers and local shops’ notice boards and listen to the local radio station
- Let local fireworks display organisers know that there are horses nearby and see if they can direct their fireworks away from their fields. You can also get an idea of their schedule – often the displays only last up to half an hour so you know when to be on alert.
- Make a decision about whether to stable your horse or leave it in the field well in advance.
- If you decide to stable your horse get a radio playing to drown some of the firework noise out, leave the lights on and stay with your horse if you can – however we do not recommend standing in the stable with him – this could be extremely dangerous if he reacts badly to the noise. Your safety is priority.
- If you decide to keep your horse in the field, check the fencing is secure and not broken and there are no foreign objects lying around.
- Keep your vets telephone number close to hand in case of emergencies
- Double check that your insurance is up to date. Make sure that you have adequate third party liability insurance. If your horse is frightened and escapes, causing an accident, then you could be held liable for compensation.
- If there has been a display near your stable, yard or field, check the area for bits of used firework and carefully dispose of anything that could be dangerous to your horse . Be especially careful of fireworks that may not be fully spent.