For many people Guy Fawkes night is a fantastic tradition, it signals autumn - cosy nights in, comfort food and the smell of bonfires wafting in the air. It's fun, exciting and paves the way for Christmas which is of course just around the corner - perfect.
That is of course unless you have a pet. For us animal lovers fireworks night problems are two fold - the actual 5th November bonanza AND the two week wave of random fireworks that seem to follow.
Everyone is entitled to have fun and I must admit I'd hate for this very British tradition to end. But the unpredictability that comes with over the counter fireworks readily available is a nightmare for us horsey folk. These days, many livery yards are close to built up areas, this year in particular many organised displays are being cancelled and this presents a real problem for people with animals who are frightened by fireworks (which is most).
Below are my tips for helping get through this time of year with the worried equine....
- Be aware of time and dates of local organised displays, it's possible that you can be present at the yard to reassure and keep and eye on things.
- Communicate with neighbours as to whether or not they are planning to let off any fireworks. Ask if they could let you know timings.
- Leave a radio on at the stables, keep your horses routine as normal as possible.
- For particularly sensitive horses, use a magnesium calmer throughout the period and liaise with your vet.
- Check fields for fireworks debris prior to any local event.
- Have fire procedures and measures clearly set out at all times.
- Check on horses as regularly as possible throughout the period.
- Have good quality insurance in place should the worst happen.
- Spread awareness of the BHS 'Fireworks' campaign
We love our animals at Pommel, the most important thing to remember is that most people enjoying fireworks will also have pets and want to help out in anyway possible.
Over and out x