Horses on Bonfire Night

Horses and Fireworks – what you need to know and do.

Fireworks seem to be all year round now, with weddings and parties, they used to be just for Bonfire Night, but now they make an appearance all-year-round. For many horse owners Fireworks can cause worry and upset as horses may become frightened by fireworks. Follow this guide to help your horse and you this Bonfire Night.

2-minute read

Horses and fireworks – Your 10-step guide.

  1. It’s worth taking the time to research any known wedding and party venues to find out if they are having events were fireworks will be included. Ask them to let you know when these events will be taking place so you can make plans for your horse.
  2. Do your research first to find out if there are any commercial or organised displays planned near to where your horse is kept, local press and shop notice boards as well as local radio and Facebook groups are a good source of information especially around the time of Bonfire night and New Year’s Eve,
  3. Contact display organisers to explain your concerns and see if there are any measures they can take – for example, moving to the far end of a site and ask about timings so you can manage your horse appropriately.
  4. Horses need routine, so ensure you keep to your horse’s normal routine. If your horse is usually stabled, then keep your horse in the stable. Likewise, if your horse is normally out in the field, so long as it’s safe and secure and not close to the fireworks keep your horse in the field. Routine is key!
  5. Wherever your horse is spending the night make sure it is safe and secure. Check for anything that can cause potential injury such as broken fences or nails in fencing/stables even farm machinery.
  6. Play music near your horse's stable, this will get him use to noise all year round. Try to do this at least a week before any know firework display in preparation as not to scare your horse on the night. You can get your horse use to music all year round with the help of The Stride Rhythm Seeker, it can play for up to 6 hours of your favourite music whilst riding or completing yard duties.
  7. Leaving the stable light on can also help, as it can reduce the effect of sudden bright lights in the night sky. Do this a few times before the event to allow your horse to get familiar with the stable light being left on for longer.
  8. Make sure you are with your horse during the scheduled times for any local displays. If you can’t be there ensure you have someone experienced checking on your horse during any displays. Leave clear instructions for them as well as contact information for you and your vet should anything happen.
  9. If you know your horse gets very stressed around fireworks, could you move your horse for the night or buy a calmer in advance. If you are in any doubt, speak to your vet first as they may recommend that your horse is sedated. The team at Harry Hall love Premier performance Calming Cookies, they are ideal for horses during any stressful situations that may cause anxiety, stress or fear.
  10. Remain calm and be aware of your safety when your horse is stressed.
  11. Finally - don’t ride when you know there will be a firework display on. Ride early in the day when there is still plenty of daylight and less chance of a firework being set off.

What else do you need to know?

Fireworks the law:

  • You cannot buy fireworks if you’re under 18, and it’s against the law for anyone to set off fireworks between 11 pm and 7 am, except on certain occasions.
  • The law says you must not set off or throw fireworks (including sparklers) in the street or other public places.

  • You must not set off fireworks between 11 pm and 7 am, except for:
    • Bonfire Night, when the cut off is midnight
    • New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year, when the cut off is 1 am

For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/fireworks-the-law

We hope this information is useful to keep you and your horse safe.

Team Harry Hall x