Halloween can be a stressful time for horse owners. Fireworks, bonfire and other Halloween festivities can cause horses to become upset. We have compiled some helpful hints to help you and your horse safely navigate the spooky season.
Horses are flight animals and anything unexpected will startle them. Naturally, each response will vary greatly according to the individual horse but it is well known that with regular exposure, horses become desensitised to stimuli. As a result, part of the problem with fireworks and Halloween activities is that they occur only once a year. Therefore, it is not easy for horse owners to reproduce Halloween happenings to enable complete desensitisation of the horse. As with everything to do with horses, preparation is key.
- Find out if there are any firework displays planned near to your horse’s yard.
- If it is safe to do so, it may be beneficial try to desensitise your horse to loud bangs such as fireworks.
- Secure your yard in advance in case a horse does break out to avoid serious problems.
- Play music within the barn/yard area in advance to get the horses used to these sounds.
During Halloween Night
- If your horse is kept in a barn/stable area, keep the barn doors closed to try limit the effect of loud noises.
- Playing music within the barn/stable area may dull the sound of the bangs depending on the distance.
- Leave stable/barn lights on to help lessen the effect of bright lights/flashes in the night sky.
- Try as far as possible to keep your horse in its normal routine so it feels secure.
If you are especially concerned, try an equine calmer like Anxikalm Triple Strength Gel, which is the most powerful and concentrated L-Tryptophan syringe on the market. The unique gel formulation ensures a fast rate of absorption so the active ingredients get to work rapidly and can be used in stressful situations, such as Halloween night.
Most importantly, keep yourself safe as an injured owner is no good to any horse!