Make sure you are ready as the time of year for fireworks draws near once more. Any animal, but especially horses, find fireworks to be one of the major sources of stress.
In this piece, we’ll examine why this is the case and what may be done to lessen the negative effects of this unpleasant seasonal occurrence on our animals. You can also read more about horses and horse racing in our website.
What is it about fireworks that is so bad?
Fireworks are incredibly loud sky-high blasts of artificial fire. If you can, try to imagine yourself as an animal. You have no notion that such things might possibly be enjoyable. Even more incompressible is the notion that such objects could be created un order to offer such amusement. It almost resembles how overwhelming and terrible anything that a person can’t understand might feel.
It is now hard to describe fireworks to a horse and assure them that they are safe. Instead, they must be continually exposed to the stimuli in order to desensitise them to it. However, this also presents a challenge—how can one safely expose a horse to fireworks? It’s quite challenging, so regardless matter how thorough these desensitisation efforts are, the horse is still likely to shake anytime a firework goes off.
Fireworks spook a lot of animals. What is the big deal?
Let’s take a moment to reflect on the enormous amount of muscle that makes up a mature horse. They can kick with enough force to destroy countless pieces of property, not to mention any unfortunate humans or other animals who may be nearby. They weigh as much as ten men.
Therefore, horses differ greatly from dogs and cats. Being frightened by a horse can have serious (and even disastrous) repercussions in addition to being unwanted in and of itself. Horses have been known to bolt over fences and onto busy streets after jumping through stable doors. Horses are flight or fight creatures, which explains why their behaviour near fireworks can be so perilous. Suffice it to say, this is serious business.
What is attainable?
You’ll be happy to know that there are a few different techniques to lessen the effect of pyrotechnics on a horse. Let’s go through a few of them now.
Message the fireworks show’s organisers for further information.
The greatest place to start when tackling any issue is by looking into its root cause. The folks setting off fireworks are the cause in this situation. Find out which organisations and at what times they will be launching fireworks. Get them as far away from your horses as you can if at all feasible. You will be much better able to minimise any detrimental effects that the fireworks may have on your horses if you are aware of the exact time they are scheduled to go off.
Naturally, it’s not always possible to contact everyone who may be setting off fireworks close to you, especially if your horse is based close to a densely populated residential area. Larger commercial displays might be simple to spot, but small fireworks will be set off by private parties without prior notice.
If the people in charge of an event close to you don’t seem very cooperative, it can be worthwhile to verify that they have submitted an application for the necessary licence. If they haven’t, you can report them, in which case the display will probably be completely stopped. Since unlicensed fireworks displays are hazardous for a number of reasons, many of which have nothing to do with horses, there is a licencing system in place for a reason.
immediately assist the horse
There are even more direct ways to assist your horse in overcoming the strains of the season for fireworks. This primarily entails keeping them in stables to protect them from the sights, noises, and odours they produce. A horse will be much less likely to panic if it is safely confined to a familiar, secure location.
If you’re nearby when the fireworks start, you can reassure them as well. If your horse can still see other horses through an upper mesh barrier, for example, closing the door can assist lessen the impact of those loud bangs. Keep a lamp on as well. You might think about exposing them to the sounds, scents, and sights of the fireworks beforehand, as we’ve already mentioned.
To fully prepare your horse for the bass frequencies of those louder bangs, you might discover that you need a larger speaker system. However, even a tiny portable system will help. On YouTube, you can discover lengthy loops of the sound effects of fireworks. Just press the play button and keep a close watch on your horse. If you start off low and gradually increase the volume, this can be quite advantageous.
What does the law say about fireworks?
The usage of fireworks is obviously strictly prohibited. It is forbidden for anyone under 18 to have them with them in a public setting. Additionally, fireworks are only permitted on specific occasions of the year, such as New Year’s Eve, after 11 p.m. Last but not least, shops need a special licence to sell fireworks on days other than the week leading up to New Year’s Eve and the month preceding (and soon after) Guy Fawkes Night. However, these special licences may be given to exceptionally large organisations, so if you live next to a sizable theme park, you might also expect to see fireworks at other times of the year.
Laws that prohibit animal cruelty also may apply to fireworks. For instance, it is illegal to intentionally inflict pain on a captured or domesticated animal, which obviously includes horses. It is, however, quite challenging to demonstrate that persons who intentionally set off fireworks close to horses are doing so. Because of this, the person lighting off fireworks may be miles away from the horse. This may not be at all concerned about its predicament. Therefore, this rule would only be applicable in exceptional circumstances in which the offender has been made fully aware of the effects of their fireworks show.