For most Americans, July 4 means relaxation, picnics, fireworks and all around good summer fun in general, but for horses Independence Day isn’t all that celebratory. Like dogs and cats, many horses become terrified—understandably–at the sights and sounds of fireworks. So if you’re looking for some tips on how to help your horse overcome his fear of overhead explosives, a Brit has some advice.
Peter Coleshaw, BVSc MRCVS, of Blue House Veterinary Centre in the U.K. has put together an entire website devoted to helping animals overcome fireworks fears. Aptly named “Fear of Fireworks” (www.fearoffireworks.com
), the site has a special section devoted to helping horses deal with the exploding shells. The site even has a “Fear of Fireworks Protocol,” that provides step-by-step tips to ease the tension that many horses will experience tonight. To make the process easier, Coleshaw has compiled a CD of fireworks sounds (available for purchase on his site) that can be played at home as part of a horse’s desensitization training.
Of course if you want your horse to be calm tonight, it’s a little late for desensitization, but you can still get some valuable tips from “Fear of Fireworks” to help ease the anxiety.
Happy July 4th.
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