The celebration of America's independence, culminating with a fireworks display is, for some, the highlight of summer. However, July 4th is arguably the most dreaded date for horse owners. While stopping fireworks displays is generally not an option, here are some tips to help ease some of your horse’s anxiety.
1) Talk with your neighbors to discuss your concerns about their fireworks displays and the safety of your horses. Knowing if they plan to have a display will help you prepare.
2) Keep your horse’s routine and their environment familiar. Making changes to their routine may only add stress.
3) Thoroughly check your horse’s stall for any potential hazards that could cause injury in the event that they become upset.
4) Provide a distraction for your horse. Be sure that they have a constant supply of hay to keep them occupied.
5) Try to muffle or block the noise with ear plugs or cotton. Equine ear plugs may be purchased online or at local tack shops.
6) Play music to drown out the fireworks noise.
7) Check on your horse(s) regularly throughout the evening, or even plan to stay at the barn to keep close watch. If someone else stays at your farm, be sure to leave them detailed instructions and contact information for your veterinarian.
8) Keep yourself calm, as your horse will pick up on your emotions.
9) Discuss calming aids with your veterinarian to help keep your anxious horse at ease.
10) Check your field after local displays, and pick up any remaining bits of used fireworks to keep your horse from ingesting them.
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