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
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
• 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!