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Are Horses Scared Of Fireworks

author
Elaine Sutton
• Thursday, 29 October, 2020
• 8 min read

Independence Day fireworks may enthrall your community, but for the horses nearby the celebration can be extremely stressful. Each year, she adds, there are media reports of injuries or deaths in horses who were spooked by the pyrotechnics.

fireworks horse horses scared keeping safe during summer
(Source: www.saddlebox.net)

Contents

“Almost yearly, petitions float around lobbying for a ban on fireworks in New Zealand, partly due to the anxiety they cause in animals. Recently, the national fire service and the Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals promoted a legally binding referendum to try to have private use of fireworks made illegal.

Half of the respondents identified as living on “lifestyle blocks,” which are the equivalent of small “barrettes” in suburban areas of the United States. Overall, 26 percent of respondents indicated that their horses had sustained injuries associated with firework-related anxiety, the most common being cuts and strains or sprains.

As far as New Zealand legislation is concerned, Agronomist says that “tighter regulation focusing on limiting the number of days private fireworks could be used would greatly increase the ability of horse owners to develop practical management strategies to reduce risk and injury.” Try to make sure fireworks aren’t set off near your horse’s field or stable.

Anyone planning a display in a rural area should let neighboring farmers know in advance. Your horse will cope best in a familiar environment, keeping to his or her normal routine and with any usual companions during firework season.

Do a full check of the stable for anything that could cause an injury, such as nails sticking out, before you leave them. This way you can observe your horse’s behavior and make sure they stay safe and as calm as possible.

horse years fireworks heather trot advocates resolutions clemenceau written
(Source: heatherclemenceau.wordpress.com)

There are recordings of thunderstorms and firework noises that are specifically made to work with sound-sensitive dogs. If at any point he acts concerned, lower the volume for a couple of days, then gradually increase it again.

Of course, these sounds won’t have quite the same effect on your horse as real fireworks, but they will help him become more accustomed to loud noises. Mimicking the bright flashes of fireworks may require more ingenuity than the loud bangs.

If you plan to keep your horse in the pasture, check the fencing to make sure it’s sturdy and that the area is free of any debris. Always have a friend available to help and your veterinarian’s phone number on-hand, in case an emergency arises.

If you have a steady equine companion who is nonreactive to fireworks, pair him with your nervous horse to help him gain confidence. Your horse may feel like he can move away from the scary sound or sight if he isn’t trapped in a stall.

If you put your horse in a pasture, make sure it’s one that he’s familiar with, so he knows where the fence lines are. If you know your horse is sensitive or skittish, devise a plan of action before the impending day of fireworks.

fireworks horse anxiety riding
(Source: www.equisearch.com)

If there is a firework display close to your barn, make sure you have an emergency fire procedure in place. Many municipalities ban the use of fireworks other than sparklers by private individuals, so don’t hesitate to contact authorities if someone in your neighborhood starts to celebrate the Fourth of July on their own.

If your horse gets scared, escapes from your property and causes an accident, you could be held liable for any potential damages. Knowing when a fireworks display will start gives you a heads up if you need to put your horse in his stall or turn him out.

Playing music on the radio loudly can help to drown out outside noises and act as a soothing effect. Provide plenty of food to give him something else to focus on; this could be the time to give him an additional flake of alfalfa hay or provide some special treats in a “food toy.” Leave some lights on in the barn to lessen the contrast with the bright flashes of the fireworks.

Blue Cross is urging people not to let off any fireworks this New Year’s Eve, as horse owners lay bare the extent of suffering loud bangs causes our equine friends. As a difficult year for everyone come to a close, it is understandable the British public will be wanting to celebrate new hope for 2021 this winter and, for some, that might include letting off fireworks in their garden, or private fields.

“These results have laid bare the extent of suffering so many of the nation’s horses go through for days and weeks at a time every single year. “That’s why we are pleading with people to think about their own actions this New Year’s Eve and consider ditching setting off loud fireworks, which leave many horses literally shaking in fear, for other celebrations.

scared stuff fireworks foal death nz
(Source: www.stuff.co.nz)

Blue Cross is also calling for the public to spread the word and display posters in their windows or local community boards, encouraging people not to use fireworks this winter. Even a normally unflappable equine can flee for his life when the annual display of noise and colors lights up the sky.

There are a few steps you can take to ensure safety for your horse this Independence Day. It should go without saying, but even if consumer fireworks are legal in your state, the barn is not the place to stage an amateur display. The flashing and booming in proximity is enough to send most horses into a blind panic, leading to the possibility of exhaustion, sprains and strains or potentially devastating injuries.

Furthermore, fences, hay, bedding and dry grass are just a few of the highly flammable items found around horse farms in the summer. Avoid the risk altogether and leave the fireworks to the professionals. If your horse lives close to the location of a professional display, or if you have neighbors who won’t be deterred from holding their own light show, here are some things you can do to help your horse get through the night.

Check your horse’s stall or turnout area for any hazards such as broken boards or holes that could injure him if he does run around. Watch out for your own safety and don’t try to stay with your horse in his stall or next to him in the pasture to comfort him.

The best defense against fear of fireworks is to desensitize your horse to unexpected sights and sounds using positive reinforcement. We use cookies to help personalize content, tailor and measure ads, and provide a safer experience.

fireworks horse animals scared death
(Source: www.walesonline.co.uk)

Additional polling shows most people think letting off fireworks in gardens should be banned and limited to organized or licensed displays Blue Cross is urging people not to let off any fireworks this New Year’s Eve, as horse owners lay bare the extent of suffering loud bangs causes our equine friends.

As a difficult year for everyone come to a close, it is understandable the British public will be wanting to celebrate new hope for 2021 this winter and, for some, that might include letting off fireworks in their garden, or private fields. “These results have laid bare the extent of suffering so many of the nation’s horses go through for days and weeks at a time every single year.

Blue Cross is also calling for the public to spread the word and display posters in their windows or local community boards, encouraging people not to use fireworks this winter. Fourth of July fireworks can cause extreme anxiety in some horses, leading to panicked behavior and even injury.

Sections of cotton wool or sponge can work for this, as can pieces of polo wrap. Your vet will have told you how far in advance of the fireworks to give it in order for the sedative to work best.

With the pandemic preventing public firework displays this year, there are concerns this might lead to an increase in back garden displays, but there are steps owners can take to minimize the impact on their horses. It is sensible to keep your horse in its familiar environment, in its normal routine, with any companions to make it feel secure.

injuries horrific fireworks she horse emerge vets undergoing treatment still badly hurt a57 spooked crash oakham equine veterinary hospital
(Source: www.lincolnshirelive.co.uk)

If it is normally out in the field, keep it there as long as it is safe, secure and not close to the firework display area. If stabled, check thoroughly for anything that could cause potential injury such as protruding nails and string.

If your horse is to stay in the field, check that fencing is secure and that there are no foreign objects lying around that they might injure themselves if they run around. Ensure that you, or someone experienced, stays with your horse if you know that fireworks are being set off.

If it is absolutely necessary for you to leave your horse in the care of another person during a firework display, then be sure to leave clear instructions and contact details for both you and your vet should any problems arise. If you know your animal will be stressed, talk to your vet about sedation or perhaps consider moving your horse for the night.

Playing music on a radio positioned outside the stable can often mask sudden noise, distract attention and be soothing. It may seem common sense but be aware of your own safety; a startled horse can be dangerous so do not put yourself at risk when trying to deal with a spooked animal.

If you want to keep up with the latest from the equestrian world without leaving home, grab a HGH subscription If you have any doubts, talk to your local fire safety officer.

fireworks pony scared horse coping tips fawkes guy night
(Source: www.ponymag.com)

If your horse is frightened and escapes, causing an accident, then you could be held liable for compensation. With the Fourth of July coming up and summer activities in full swing, there's an increased chance that your horse will have to deal with fireworks.

They bolt through fences and try to leap over stall doors all in an attempt to escape the sound. Fireworks are an unavoidable part of celebrating July 4th, and it's one day a year we need to be extra prepared for our horses.

If you suspect your neighborhood will be racked with loud booms sometime soon, check out these methods to help keep your horse safe and calm. The most important thing that you can do to help your horse deal with fireworks is to find a safe place for him.

If your horse is not accustomed to being closed into a stall, putting him inside may cause him even more stress. Horse ear plugs are typically little foam puffs that help block noise.

Make sure that you get your horse used to wearing earplugs before the night of the fireworks, or they may add to his stress. Provide your horse with plenty of hay so that he constantly has food in front of him during the fireworks.

injuries horrific fireworks horse willow hurt equine hospital emerge a57 badly spooked crash veterinary oakham
(Source: www.lincolnshirelive.co.uk)

Pair the sounds with something your horse really enjoys, like a special treat or scratch. When they seem comfortable, gradually increase the volume and repeat your positive reinforcement.

The goal is to eventually turn the volume all the way up and have your horse remain completely calm. This way, when the real deal happens, they'll already be accustomed to those loud sounds, and they won't panic.

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Sources
1 www.akc.org - https://www.akc.org/breeder-programs/breeder-education/akcs-guide-responsible-dog-breeding/