Bonfire Night TOP 10 Tips for a Settled Horse this Bonfire Night with NETTEX
Written by Dr Becky Lees BVSc Cert AVP (EM) MRCVS
Many people enjoy bonfire night, but for us horse owners it can be an extremely stressful time of the year. Horses are flight animals which means that anything unexpected can startle them. Individual horses’ reactions can vary greatly and knowing what’s best for your horse can be a real challenge.
So how can you make bonfire night less stressful?
Firstly, find out when local displays are going to take place and stay in touch you’re your neighbours to find out if and when they are planning to let off fireworks.
Decide whether to stable or turn your horse out on the night of the fireworks. This of course will depend on how close the fireworks are and whether turnout is safe. Horses are creatures of routine, so keeping things normal is going to reduce stress and make them feel secure. Some horses are happier in the field as they can see what is going on, however this can make certain horses even more stressed. Bear in mind that it is difficult for a stressed horse to injure himself in a stable, while they can seriously hurt themselves in the field if when frightened they run through fencing.
Top 10 Tips….
- Use a calmer syringe such as Nettex Calmer Syringe Paste a few hours before dark
- Rug your horse with a rug that will wick sweat away, but keep them warm, such as a fleece
- Give your horse plenty of hay to keep him occupied
- Giving your horse a treat lick such as Nettex Tastylyx which can be hung in the stable will keep them interested and take their mind off noises outside. Nettex Tastylyx come in three delicious natural flavours; apple, carrot and mint
- Leave a radio on playing music to help mask the noise and keep your horse calm. Getting your horse used to a radio before will really help
- If you are concerned that your horse may have an extreme reaction discuss this with your vet as oral sedation might be appropriate or consider moving your horse for the night
- Make sure that someone experienced either stays with your horse or checks on them frequently during the evening. Make sure that emergency contact details are to hand
- It is important to stay calm yourself as horses will sense unease and this will make them more stressed
- Likewise, make sure that you have adequate third-party liability insurance, if your horse is scared and escapes causing an accident, you will be responsible for any compensation
- Check fields the following morning for any stray fireworks that may have landed there, as they have the potential to cause injury to your horse
With thanks to NETTEX! For more information on the NETTEX products please visit www.nettexequine.com
Look out for our NETTEX calmer T&T in December’s magazine!