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.
I wonder if this would also work for a hunting dog, who is afraid of the sound of a gun going off.
GOOD QUESTION PKL. TWO OF MY DOGS ARE ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIED OF GUN SHOTS, FIRE CRACKERS, AND 4-WHEELER/VEHICLES BACK-FIRING. THEY RUN TO THE HOUSE TAIL TUCKED! I HAVENT REALLY NOTICED ANY FEAR IN MY HORSES WITH THOSE NOISES……YET. MAY BE A DIFFERENT STORY IF THEY WERE CLOSER TO THE OBJECTS MAKING THE NOISE. THAT CD MIGHT BE WORTH GETTING THOUGH. IM GONNA GO CHECK IT OUT RIGHT NOW.
Great info! Thanks!
This sounds like great advice. Fortunately my horse couldn’t care less about loud noises but I may need this advice in the future.
I think that picture was taken at Kentucky Horse park and I just went there! lol
Shelby–I agree I was there too.