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. Fireworks can be frightening for any horse, and every year horses are injured or even killed because they panic. Here are four ways that you can help your horse to cope with fireworks.
Find a Safe Place for Your Horse
The most important thing that you can do to help your horse deal with fireworks is to find a safe place for him. Some horses may do better outside where they can move around freely, but be aware of the fact that if a horse panics while he’s outdoors, he could run into a fence, break through a fence, and even get loose.
Many horse owners choose to keep their horses in stalls when they know that fireworks will be set off. Stalls give you more control over your horse, and keeping your horse indoors can be a good option as long as your horse is used to being in a stall. If your horse is not accustomed to being closed into a stall, putting him inside may cause him even more stress.
Play Background Music
If possible, put your barn’s radio on as background music for your horses. Choose a soothing station, like a classical music station. Having this background noise can help to distract horses from the noise of the fireworks.
You might also consider using earplugs on any horses that you know to be highly sensitive to noise or nervous. Make sure that you get your horse used to wearing earplugs before the night of the fireworks, or they may add to his stress.
Keep Your Horse Occupied
Provide your horse with plenty of hay so that he constantly has food in front of him during the fireworks. Food can be an excellent way to distract horses, and many horses feel a natural urge to eat when they’re nervous. As an added bonus, hay can help to buffer your horse’s stomach from the stomach acid generated by stress, reducing the chance of him developing stomach ulcers.
Transport Your Horse Somewhere Else
If you know that your horse simply doesn’t cope well with fireworks, or if you won’t be around to check in on your horses, it may be a good idea to transport your horse to another stable for a few days until the displays are over. Finding a stable in a rural location may mean that your horse won’t have to deal with fireworks, which will allow both you and him to relax.
Hopefully the fireworks displays near you will be small. With a bit of preparation, you can help to keep your horse comfortable and safe.