Help your horse cope with fireworks

by Susanne Risse [Hidden Trails] 11/21/2011

The holiday season has started. A festive period devoted to joy, happiness as well as parties. Celebrations will be held on almost every corner and many will also enjoy fireworks. At the same moment when people will raise their glasses and make their New Year's vows, someone will be very afraid. It will panic and try to run away from the loud noise of fireworks. It turns into a shivering wreck.

Fireworks are really beautiful to watch but they include loud noises which horses and other animals perceive as threat. Some horses do not fear loud noises, thunder or lightning. But others become terrified. What to do, if your horse is trembling with fear?

Keep your horse at home during fireworks. This is where he feels safe. Each horse reacts differently and feels safe in different places - some in the stable, some in the field. You know your horse best, so think it through and decide where he feels the most comfortable. Some horses feel the safest in the stable!

Make sure you are aware of firework parties in the area. Talk to the organizers and let them know that horses are not too thrilled about loud cracking. Fireworks in the vicinity of your stable should face the opposite direction to avoid fires or injuries to horses which are in the field. There are also fireworks on the market which are not as loud.

Check the fields and pastures. Carefully check that fencing is not broken. Some horses will probably try to escape. It is also necessary that you check the fencing again the next day and make sure that there are no foreign objects lying around. Check the pastures and fencing before and after the fireworks and make sure they are safe for horses.

Turn on the radio in the stable. The music should be a bit louder than usual to camouflage the louder noises produced by fireworks. Leave the lights on and give them plenty of hay to keep them occupied.

Keep the horse in its normal routine. Do not stress the horse unnecessarily.

Have sedatives around if necessary. Talk to your vet about the use of a sedative, in case your horse goes into sheer panic. There are tons of herbal sedatives that might be a good idea to keep on hand.

Remain on hand. If you are not sure about how your horse will react to fireworks, remain on hand. Your presence will also have a reassuring effect. Even if your horses are calm, carry out checks through the evening.

Start sound desensitization training early. It is already too late to start training now. But you can record the fireworks and play the tape to your horses throughout the following year. Put it a bit louder each time and your horse will gradually become accustomed to these kind of noises
Start sound desensitization training early enough.

Hidden Trails
wish you and your horses a joyful and calm New Year's eve!


Article was first published by World of Horses -

Comments are closed