Horses and Fireworks

Horses and Fireworks

FireworksThe U.S. is days away from celebrating Independence Day or as we commonly call it, the Fourth of July. For many, that means a day off, barbecuing, and fireworks after dark. Horses, on the other hand, don’t seem to enjoy the day as much humans. We live in Tennessee where fireworks, even big, bright, loud scary ones, are legal outside of city limits. And since we’re not in city limits, fireworks go off all around our property on the 4th of July. Years ago Mikki, the Kid and I were huge fireworks fans and up until owning horses enjoyed shooting off our own here at the house. But now that we have horses and a few dogs that are terrified of loud booms, we’ve nixed our home fireworks display. One year we left the television playing loudly and headed out to see a large town fireworks display. When we got home, one of our dogs was in shock. Unbeknownst to us, our next door neighbors set off a huge fireworks display, courtesy of visiting family for the holiday. We’re told it went on for a long time and I can imagine it seemed to our pets inside and our horses in the the pasture that something was attacking all around.

The Parellis teach the importance of thinking like a horse in order to understand how they’ll react to us and different scenarios and that advice makes perfect sense to me. As prey animals, they’re constantly on the lookout for something that could attack them and besides something running towards you, nothing says “RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!” quite like loud bangs and bright flashes of light overhead.

Needless to say, we no longer shoot any kind of fireworks at our place. Our neighbors, the ones with the large fireworks display, have since moved. And we now stay home and comfort our dogs while keeping an eye on our horses.

How do you deal with fireworks around your horses?

2 thoughts on “Horses and Fireworks

  1. Every annual Family Gathering, my BIL gifts the family with an hour long fireworks show.
    Our horses go into their barnstalls with plenty of hay and water – the barn cam tells us they not much more than flick their ears at the sounds when the fireworks go off. There are 4 skylights in the barn roof, but the lights don’t seem to rile them either.
    Our 3 cattle disappear into the bush but, once the show is over, they are not long in coming back up to the waterer.
    Chickens are locked up sleeping the coop long before, & the pigs bury themselves in straw in their shelter.
    The rabbit house is across the yard – again, the camera tells us that the only time the rabbits are riled up is when someone opens the door & come inside.
    The dogs go into the house, where Manic MinPin spends the whole time begging to be let back outside and Saint sleeps in the hallway.
    We never really know where the cats might be, though for the last 2 years our maine coon cat has purred in my lap at fireside as the show goes on.
    I know a LOT of pets & livestock freak out – I guess we’re just lucky that ours seem to handle the commotion with aplomb. The cameras help us feel confident that we can keep putting on shows, so long as the animals are safe & sound.

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