Equine Safety on Bonfire Night – Top 10 Tips


  1.     Be prepared and plan ahead. Find out the exact dates of local fireworks displays so you are aware of any nights that might be difficult for your horse. Bonfire Night is on a Tuesday this year, so the weekends before and after November 5th are likely to be noisy too. You could also ask your neighbours at the stable if they have heard about any local displays.
  2.     Consider food supplements. Add a calming food supplement to your horse’s feed at least a week before and after Bonfire night. Groomers stock NAF’s Magic supplement, which is a non-sedating supplement for stressed horses.
  3.     Keep your horse to its normal routine. This will help minimise stress. Also, if you do not normally stable your horse, consider leaving him out at night. Bringing your horse in could cause more stress than the fireworks.
  4.     Bring your horse in promptly. If you do bring your horse in at night, do so as soon as it gets dark. Ensure the stable is completely safe and there is nothing he could injure himself on. If possible, leave a radio playing quietly to disguise the sound of any bangs.
  5.     If leaving out, check your field. Check all fencing and fix if necessary. Ensure there is nothing sharp or dangerous in the field, and consider putting down extra forage to distract him.
  6.     Ensure your horse has access to food and water. This is an obvious consideration, but particularly important if your horse is under stress.
  7.     Check on your horse. Take the time to check on your horse on Bonfire Night, as well as any nights when local displayed are set to take place.
  8.     Ensure your personal safety. Do not under-estimate the power of a frightened horse. Take care when handling your animal.
  9.     Consider sedation. Only consider this if you are particularly worried about your horse or do not have an alternative. Discuss options with you vet.
  10.   Check your personal liability insurance is current. It is highly unlikely, but if the worst does happen and your horse escapes, you could be liable for any accidents caused, so ensure you consider this necessary precaution.

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