Bonfire Night is an annual headache for many horse owners. Fireworks can frighten even the most sensible horse with dreadful consequences. The British Horse Society has compiled the following checklist to help horse owners prepare for November 5.
- Look at local press and shops notice boards and listen to the radio to
find out where the displays will be in your area.
- Decide whether to stable your horse or leave it in the field.
- If you know your animal will be stressed, talk to your vet about
sedation or perhaps consider moving your horse for the night.
- It is often best to keep the horse in its normal routine so as not to
stress the horse unnecessarily.
- 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 not broken
and that there are no foreign objects lying around.
- Some horses will be soothed by a radio playing calming music.
- Be aware of your own safety, a startled horse can be dangerous.
- Check if there will be a bonfire near your yard. If there is, make sure
you have an emergency fire procedure in place. If you have any doubts,
talk to your local fire safety officer.
- Make sure that you have adequate third party liability insurance. If
your horse is frightened and escapes, causing an accident, then you could
be held liable for compensation.
By being proactive in planning for fireworks and bonfire night, you can
make the annual celebrations less stressful for you and your horse.
It is not just horse owners who need to be careful. People organising
fireworks should also inform local horse owners. It is also a good idea
not to let fireworks off anywhere near fields or farms.
Most people don't realise how much suffering fireworks cause to animals,
particularly horses. Those who really want to have fireworks in their back
garden should think carefully about how it will affect the local animals
before they do so.