Bonfire night is a fantastic time of year, filled with fireworks, sparklers, and toasty treats. But while we enjoy the festivities, it’s important to remember our four-legged friends. Horses can become incredibly stressed during the celebrations and, because they’re a flight animal, there’s a huge risk of injury if they try to bolt. Here are some tips to help keep horses safe on bonfire night.
Secure Stables and Paddocks
Before the celebrations begin, make sure your horse’s stables and paddocks are secure. Check for loose fencing or gaps that your horse could escape through. This will help prevent accidents caused by spooked horses.
Keep Calm and Carry On
Horses are sensitive creatures, so stay calm around them. If you’re nervous or agitated, your horse is more likely to pick up on your emotions. Speak to them softly and reassure them with gentle pats.
On Bonfire Night, it’s best to avoid riding your horse. The unfamiliar sounds and sights can make riding a risky activity. Give your horse a day off and let them relax.
Horses are herd animals and find comfort in the company of others. If possible, turn them out with a trusted companion. Having a friend nearby can help ease their anxiety.
If you have visitors during the celebrations, ensure they are aware of the horse’s presence. Ask them to keep a respectful distance and avoid sudden movements or loud noises that could startle the horse.
Mask the Noise To Keep Horses Safe On Bonfire Night
Fireworks can be frightening due to their loud bangs and bright flashes. Try to mask the noise by playing soothing music or keeping your horse in a quiet, well-lit stable. Earplugs designed for horses can also help reduce the impact of loud noises.
In case your horse does get spooked and manages to escape, chances of them being returned to you if they become lost are massively increased by following legal requirements and having them microchipped.
If your horse has a history of severe anxiety during Bonfire Night, consider consulting your vet. They may recommend calming supplements or medications to help your horse stay relaxed.
Let’s Not Forget Our Other Four-Legged Friends
Bonfire Night is also a source of distress for our other pets, such as dogs, cats, rabbits, and guinea pigs. To keep them safe and comfortable, it’s advisable to provide a quiet and secure indoor space for them. If possible this needs to be as far away as possible from the noise and bright lights.
Make sure they’ve got their favorite toys, blankets, and some soothing background sounds to help them feel at ease.
It’s also a good idea to keep curtains closed to minimize the firework visuals. For our canine companions, a reassuring walk earlier in the day can help tire them out and make them more relaxed.
Remember, Bonfire Night can be a challenging time for animals. However, with a little extra care and attention, you can help keep them all safe and sound. Let’s celebrate responsibly, ensuring that all members of our community, including our four-legged ones, enjoy a peaceful and stress-free evening.