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  • Firework season: how to help your horse!

    Posted on by Abii Dowdy

    Even the most bombproof of ponies can be scared by fireworks and with Bonfire night fast approaching it is important we are prepared to keep our horses as calm as possible. Take a look at our top tips below and give the clinic a call on 01327 811007 to chat to a member of our veterinary team.

    Keep in mind that members of the public often don’t realise how dangerous it can be to set fireworks off near horses. Even sensible of horses can be easily frightened by fireworks, whether they’re being set off near the field or stable, or if they can just smell the smoke, it is important as owners that we are prepared.


    Do: Keep your horse in its familiar environment with companions to make them feel as safe as possible. However, if there are plans to host a firework display close by then consider making appropriate arrangements to relocate your horse(s) for the evening.

    Do: Check your local Facebook pages, newspapers and tack shop/ village noticeboards. Often information about firework displays get advertised in these places so it is worth making a note in your diary of all local events.


    Do: Ask your local neighbours to keep you in the loop with any demonstrations they plan to hold ahead of the night. Also keep in mind that many people host firework parties around Bonfire night so displays may be happening before and after 5th November.

    Do: Check your horse’s environment for anything that could cause injury. For example, protruding nails, foreign objects in the field or loose haynets.  You know your horse best so look at their environment and assess any risks; if they do panic then you are actively reducing the risk of injury.


    Do: Try to keep somebody familiar in the yard or near to the horses. The best person for this job is somebody who can keep calm themselves if any of the horses do start to panic! Playing a radio outside the stables may also help to distract from the noise of fireworks but this should be introduced as soon as possible to make it normal.


    Do: Contact your vet in plenty of time if you know your horse may need a little extra help with oral sedation. This will need to be ordered and authorised so give yourself time to collect the medication and familiarise yourself with how to administer it. Most oral sedation requires 30-45 minutes of relaxation once the product has been administered to ensure the desired effect.


    Do: Contact your local fire safety officer in good time if you have concerns over the safety of yourself or your animals due to the proximity of a planned firework party. It will also be beneficial to create an emergency procedure for the yard, as well as circulating information about calling the vet to all horse owners on the yard.


    Do: Check your insurance ahead of time. Making sure your horse is covered for injury and third party liability insurance will give you peace of mind that if something does happen, your insurance company can help.


    Don’t: Panic! Horses can sense when your attitude changes so make sure you portray the mood you want your horse to act in.


    Don’t: Put yourself in danger. Your horse may be calm usually but when frightened, their temperament will change. Keep out of the way of a panicking horse and try your best to remain relaxed.


    Don’t: Plan to ride your horse if you suspect fireworks may be set off. Don’t run the risk of being caught out by making sure you research local events and prioritise your safety during firework season!



    Our veterinary team is available to give free advice so please don’t hesitate to contact our team on 01327 811007. Please note that we have to have examined the horse within the last 6 months to be able to legally dispense oral sedation so book in for a check-up on your next free zone visit.