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Fireworks and Your Horse

It is common for everyone to be aware of how fireworks...

Horses / 27.10.2017

Fireworks and Your Horse

It is common for everyone to be aware of how fireworks can affect cats and dogs but there are other species that can react in a negative way to them.


Horses are a flight animal and anything unexpected can startle them.  Reactions can be extremely dramatic and as they are big, powerful animals, this can be present a real danger not only to themselves but to people close by.


Horses can become desensitised to stimuli to which they are regularly exposed, but part of the problem with fireworks is that they do not occur frequently and are usually only heard at certain times of year.  The loud bangs, crackles, strange lights are very hard for a horse owner to reproduce these things.


Trying to decide whether the best idea is to keep the horse stabled or not adds to the confusion as sometimes horses can cause more damage to themselves if they are confined.


During firework season doing some of the following may help:-


If your horse is kept in a barn or

enclosed stable area it might be

possible to limit the effect of

fireworks by keeping barn doors


•  Playing music within the barn or

stable area may dull the sound of

the bangs depending on the

distance – NB: This should be

introduced before the event so the

music is itself not something for

the horse to worry about

•  Leave stable or barn lights on as

this may help lessen the effect of

the bright lights and flashes in the

night sky


Unfortunately we can do nothing

about the burning smell that

accompanies fireworks except

hope the prevailing wind direction

takes it away from the horses

•  Try as far as possible to keep your

horse in its normal routine so it

feels secure

•  Ensure an experienced person

who will remain calm, stays with

the horse until the fireworks have


•  Take care when the horse is

startled, an injured owner is no

good to anyone!