Classic Equine Connection

Prepare your horse for fireworks

Posted by Classic Equine Equipment Blog on Jul 1, 2020 3:00:00 PM

The 4th of July holiday is a wonderful opportunity to remember all the great things of America.  This holiday is celebrated nationwide with parades, speeches, picnics – and fireworks.  Some horses are literally “bombproof” around loud noises, but others can become stressed.  Here are some ideas on how to help your horse cope.

Classic Equine Equipment BlogA SAFE PLACE

Inside or outside?  This is a decision only you can make about your horse.  Many feel that horses are safest and most comfortable in the safety of an enclosed 12 x 12 stall.  Others feel that since horses are “flight animals”, keeping them enclosed during the sudden loud noises may be scarier and prefer to turn their horses out.  Whichever you choose, make sure that the area is safe of all hazards – loose nails, broken fences, holes, etc. 


If your horse is sensitive to noise, you may want to stable or turn them out with a calm friend.  Finding a favorite food/treat during fireworks can also help keep their mind off the noise while providing comfort.  If your horse usually gets local hay, try a flake or two of alfalfa.  Other ideas include putting hay in a hay bag or slow feeder so that it takes longer for them to eat, or adding an empty milk jug with a section cut out with horse cookies inside.  Your horse will soon be more interested in bumping the jug around trying to get the cookies rather than any bright flashes.


While the bright lights of fireworks are scary, it’s the loud “booms” that frighten horses most.  Many people keep a radio turned on during the explosions.  Choose a station that can help drown out the sound.  Another option is a white noise machine or CD.  These usually consist of ocean sounds or other repetitive sounds.  It’s been found that dogs actually respond more to “pink noise” (yes there are colors of noise) so find out what works best for your horse.  Finally, there are ear plugs you can buy for your horse that dampen the noise.


There are many ways you can de-stress your horse.  You can try something holistic like aromatherapy or pheromones.  Some over-the-counter non-drug calming paste can work for those mildly stressed.  But for those truly terrified, talk to your vet about sedation.  There are different drugs for different levels of relaxation.  These may be in a paste form or administered intramuscularly.  Make sure you have what you need and administer it BEFORE the excitement begin.


Most horse owners agree that horses in stalls should not have halters left on. However, when excitement hits it may be ideal to leave a breakaway halter on containing your name and contact information. This will make it easier for someone to catch and return your horse in case he escapes the stable. Other ideas are to braid your emergency information into your horse’s mane or write your phone number on his hoof.

Lastly, if you can’t be at the barn during the 4th, be sure that someone you trust and who has horse experience is there until after the fireworks are over and can let you know if there’ a problem with you horse.

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