With firework season approaching, you may need to start thinking about how you will manage your horse’s stress levels.
Firework displays can be particularly disruptive and lead to heightened stress in horses, which can be dangerous if you haven’t taken the necessary precautions. If your horse is particularly nervous they may injure themselves in their panic, so it would be worth stabling them on nights when local events are planned. This year, with things being slightly different, it may be that all planned events are cancelled. That said, you may find there are more private displays taking place in people's back gardens, which means your calming measures may be more important than ever!
It is also important that you make sure all fencing is intact and there is nothing lying around that could cause injury. This goes for out in the fields and in the stable, as panicked horses can still run into trouble in a confined space.
Distraction aids like well-filled hay nets, salt licks etc can be useful in keeping your horse’s attention away from the loud bangs and bright flashes. It may also help to give your horse a stablemate so they don’t feel isolated from the other horses.
When it comes to choosing a calming product, there are many different ones to choose from. Calming supplements are available across brands, including NAF, Dodson & Horrell, TopSpec and Global Herbs. These are typically best given in the lead up to a stressful event and their effectiveness will vary from horse to horse.
Zylkene Equine is a natural product derived from the milk protein casein. It helps to support horses in stressful situations that are new or unpredictable and can be easily given by mixing into food. Suitable in the short term (up to a week before the predicted event) or in the long term (1-2 months), it would be worth trying if you have concerns about how your horse will cope this fireworks season.
If your horse is a fussy eater and tends to know when supplements have been added to their food, Confidence EQ gel might be a more effective calming solution. Designed to help reduce equine stress when applied just inside the nostrils, it takes effect in just 30 minutes so is worth having to-hand should fireworks happen unexpectedly.
For stabled horses, Pet Remedy Natural De-Stress and Calming Spray can be spritzed around the environment to help promote feelings of calm and settle the nerves of anxious and stressed horses. Getting to work quickly, this can be used at home and on-the-go, so is also ideal for spraying in the trailer ahead of travel.
For more information on all our calming options for horses, don't hesitate to get in touch with the team by emailing [email protected]
Written by: Hannah