Even the most sensible of horses can be frightened by fireworks. By being proactive in planning for firework displays, you can make the celebrations less stressful for you and your horse. 

Many people are not aware how much suffering fireworks cause to animals, particularly horses. Anyone organising a firework display should inform local horse owners and it's also a good idea not to let fireworks off anywhere near fields or farms. 

Please think carefully about the local animals if you are planning to have fireworks in your back garden.

Our Checklist:

  • Local newspapers, notice boards and local radio stations may have information about the firework displays will be in your area.
  • Notify neighbours and firework display organisers if there are horses nearby so they can ensure fireworks are set off in the opposite direction and well away from the animals.
  • We recommend keeping your horse in its familiar environment, in its normal routine, with any companions to make it feel secure as long as it is not close to the firework display area.
  • If you decide to stable your horse make sure you check thoroughly for anything that could cause potential injury, such as protruding nails, string and ensure the haynet is secured.
  • If your horse is to stay in the field, check the fencing is secure and there are no foreign objects around.
  • Ensure that you or someone experienced stays with your horse if you know that fireworks are being set off.
  • If you are leaving your horse in the care of another person then be sure to leave clear instructions and contact details for both you and your vet should any problems arise.
  • If you know your horse will be stressed, talk to your vet about sedation, or perhaps consider moving your horse for the night.
  • Playing music on a radio positioned outside the stable can often mask sudden noise, distract attention and be soothing. It is a good idea to get your horse used to the radio before the firework display.
  • Try to remain calm yourself and keep positive, as horses will sense unease in a person and this may make things worse if the horse is startled.
  • It may seem common sense but be aware of your own safety; a startled horse can be dangerous.
  • Check if there will be a bonfire near your yard. If there is, make sure you have an emergency fire procedure in place. If you have any doubts, talk to your local fire safety officer.
  • Make sure that you have adequate third party liability insurance. If your horse is frightened and escapes, causing an accident, then you could be held liable for compensation. 


Downloads & Resources

Why not download our Firework Poster, aimed at firework display organisers and the general public, to distribute in your local area? We also have a Firework Safety poster and Fireworks leaflet aimed to offer advice and guidance to horse owners.

Have you had a problem with fireworks?

If you have experienced a problem with fireworks, please let us know by reporting the incident through our online form.

For more information, refer to the laws related to fireworks by visiting the DEFRA website or if you are based in Scotland please read the Fireworks FAQS Scotland.

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