Top Tips to make sure you and your horse are ready for Bonfire night
Firework season is just around the corner, if you have a horse with a nervous nature at this time of year, you may want to start thinking about how you can manage your horse’s stress levels.
Fireworks can lead to increased stress levels for certain horses, but there are some handy tips you can use to help.
Blue Chip’s Top Tips for Bonfire night
- Be aware: Local press and social media will share details on dates and timings of events. If you are particularly concerned about displays very close by, spend time making a friendly visit to your neighbours to ask for details of their private displays.
- Maintain your usual routine: Routine is comforting to horses, so try to keep as close to normal timings for yard visits and feeding as possible.
- Remain calm: Being calm yourself can have a very positive effect on your horse.
- Feed a calming feed and/or supplement: If you plan to feed or supplement for calming, make sure to make changes to your horse’s diet in good time for this to have a positive effect. Liquid calmers are absorbed by the blood stream faster than feed, so this can be a good option for short term management.
- Horses who are stabled: Horses tend to be more settled if they can see a horse friend in a stable nearby.
- Play the radio: In the evening or overnight to help distract from the sudden noise of fireworks. It may be worth playing the radio before firework season begins so your horse can become accustomed to it.
- Keep the lights on: This helps dim the flash of fireworks to reduce spooky behaviour.
- Provide plenty of forage: Both the forage itself and the saliva created by chewing help to settle the stomach.
- Horses who are turned out: Nervous horses who are left out (especially on their own) may get stressed and run around, risking injury to themselves. Horses who are used to being turned out overnight (especially if they have friends) may be better left out, as many are happy standing in a herd watching the fireworks from afar.
- Check your field: Make sure they are well secured and that the field is free from anything which could cause injury. Make sure they have plenty of clean, fresh water. Well-spaced out hay piles can help to keep them distracted. Provide ample hay piles to avoid fighting, an additional pile of hay to the number of horses in the field.
- Plan a late-night check: A late-night check will help keep your mind at ease. If you are on livery make sure this is agreed with the yard owner.
How can feeding help?
Blue Chip Super Concentrated Calming Feed Balancer can be fed daily to help settle horses over a longer period of time.
Karma, Blue Chip’s liquid calming supplement, can be added to your horse’s diet (ideally 6 days before for a loading dose) for additional calming benefits. As a liquid, it is quickly absorbed and of benefit to the horse.