Top Tips to Keep Your Horse Calm Bonfire Night

Despite the excitement, tasty food, and firework displays; Bonfire night for many owners can be a cause for concern. For most horses, loud noises can easily spook them causing stress for both you and your horse. However, with proper preparation and planning, keep your horse safe and calm with these six useful tips:

  1. Keep your routine

If your horse normally stays outside don’t feel pressured to bring them in as this may disrupt their normal routine and cause further stress. Keeping your horse in a familiar environment with their normal companions not only reduces any unnecessary stress that they may come under, but is a crucial element in keeping your horse cool, calm and collected whilst the fireworks displays are taking place.

  1. Stay positive

Having a familiar face and a positive demeanour can help reassure your horse or pony that they are safe despite the festive noise outside. Not only is it important for you to be calm when you’re around your horse, emotions can easily be picked up on and can affect their behaviour, especially if startled.

  1. Secure your environment

If you decide to have your horse in its stable, a great option to help calm their nerves is to have stable lights. These are perfect for reducing the visibility of firework flashes outside, so the lighter the stable is overnight, the calmer and safer your horse will feel.

However, if you don’t have stables and can’t place your horse in one, make sure to accident-proof the field. Whether it’s making sure that your electric fence is safe, remove any wire and fill in potholes that may be noticeable. Also, consider tying white or pale feed sacks to the fence to make it more visible in poor light. Make sure to tie them tightly as they can flap and can cause a stampede themselves.

  1. Contact local organisers

Keeping your horse safe should be your number one priority as a horse owner and finding out if there is an event taking place in your area can be beneficial for both you and your horse. Not only will this give you time to prepare your horse for the upcoming festivities, but it can allow you time to prepare for an alternative option if necessary.

  1. Create a distraction

Whether it’s a horse toy that will keep their attention for hours or a tasty treat, distracting your horse is a good way to keep them less interested in what’s going on outside.

  1. Minimise confinement

If your horse has been confined for a long period of time, this can store pent up energy that causes them to react more dramatically to unfamiliar sights and sounds than normal. If your horse seems to get agitated with the noise and lights, make sure to keep them in a secure place where they can’t cause any injuries but allows them the freedom and option to run away if possible.

By being proactive in planning for Bonfire night and fireworks, you can make this annual celebration less stressful for you and your horse.

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