I must admit that I actually really enjoy firework displays. I don't get to go to them much anymore as I have to stay and look after the horses. I always think they are really beautiful! They are getting louder though ..... and this I hate ...... not just for me but for the horses too.
I was unlucky enough to keep a previous horse close to a wedding venue, one night when I wasn't there, they had a huge display. My horse obviously got so upset that she did something to her spinal cord (we don't know what) and the following morning could hardly stand and certainly could not move, I had to have her put to sleep.
Anyway, last year a house close to the stables where I now keep the horses, had a huge display with the loudest fireworks I have ever heard. I did know about it and so was there, but these were so loud it was like a war zone (from what I have seen on TV and in films!). I had done the usual things (see the list below) but these fireworks were so loud it made no difference. The horses were really distressed and frightened and I did not know what to do. I have now found out the same neighbour is planning to do the same thing again this year - and I am really worried! I have appealed to them to use fireworks that are not so loud but they have refused.
These are the steps I have taken in the past!
· Play music (remember you should get your horse used to this before hand)
· Have stable lights on - to reduce the effect of the bright lights and flashes
· Keeping the horses to their normal routine
So I have been ringing around and doing much more research into additional things that I can do for this year.
Unfortunately sedation is not really an option as last year they set the fireworks off 45 minutes later than they said - so any sedation will have worn off by then. However my vet has suggested Zylkene which is a 'dietetic complementary feed stuff for horses in stressful situations' so I have some of this to try and will review this for you afterwards!
I have also bought a CD which is designed for dogs ....
.... and I have been playing it to the horses in the evening for the last few days and will continue until after the big display. I am slowly increasing the volume and think that I might play it on the night too and then the horses might just think it is the CD. The first night they were a bit nervous of the sounds but they did settle and so I am now playing it quite a lot louder. I am not sure that I will be able to get it as loud as the ones that the neighbours will set off though.
Someone has also suggested putting cotton wool in the horses ears so I may try that, although I am not confident that I will be able to get it in to their ears very easily!
If you have got any good ideas or things which you do that I could try please put it in the comment section below.
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Until next time!