Of the 716 respondents, 203 people (28%) said they bring their horses into a barn before fireworks start.
Fireworks are commonly seen during holiday celebrations, especially during Fourth of July ceremonies. But the loud noise and bright flashes that accompany those fireworks aren’t always as popular from the horse’s perspective.
In last week’s online poll, we asked our readers how they manage their horses during fireworks. More than 700 people responded, and we’ve tallied the results!
Of the 716 total respondents, 203 people (28%) said they bring their horses into a barn before fireworks start. Another 200 respondents (28%) said they leave their horses out in the pastures during fireworks. Almost a quarter of respondents (169) said they monitor their pastured horses when fireworks begin, and bring them inside if necessary. The remaining 144 people (20%) indicated that their horses aren’t exposed to fireworks.
Additionally, more than 70 people left comments about how they managed their horses during fireworks.
Many people said that their horses don’t seem to mind the fireworks:
- “My horses don't seem to mind the fireworks. Just another day for them.”
- “Our horses don't seem to pay attention to fireworks.”
- “My horses never have had a problem with fireworks, but I keep an eye on them to always play it safe!”
- “My horses really aren't all that concerned by fireworks.”
- “The back-firing of passing vehicles have inured horses to sudden load noises.”
- “Horses seem to handle loud bangs pretty well. Our neighbors regularly set of mortars, shoot guns, ect.”
- “We have many neighbors who set off huge firework displays. My horse is used to it.”
- “He's ok with fireworks, but oh, those ferocious flowers by the jumps!”
- “Fireworks don't bother them. Neither do gun shots when my husband shoots at his target.”
- “I've had neighbors set mortars off in field next to theirs with no issues. They just run a bit.”
- “My horse has never shown any objection to fireworks, so I just let him be.”
- “My horses are totally unconcerned about the fireworks.”
- “Fireworks don't bother my aged horses now. I stalled them when they were young to avoid injury.”
- “I have fireworks and hot air balloons going up next to the pastures, and they don't bother (the horses) at all.”
- “My horse is a rock solid animal nothing can scare him.”
Some people commented that they left their horses turned out during fireworks displays:
- “I bring them into their small paddocks, where they stand next to each other.”
- “They are left in their pen and pasture. No problems developed.”
- “I leave them out and stay near them. Last year one had stress colic.”
- “That way if the get scared they can run around.”
- “Mine stay out in the pasture where they want to be and are okay with loud noises, but I still keep an eye on them.”
- “Mine are not bothered by them and stay out on pasture. I monitored until I knew for sure.”
- “My horse has a choice of turnout or stall.”
Others said they bring their horses in during the fireworks:
- “I bring them in and I stay with them.”
- “I bring in excitable or pregnant mares.”
- “I bring them in when I know fireworks are close by.”
- “We bring them inside and turn the radio up to drown out the fireworks.”
Several people said they closely monitor their horses and/or use alternative methods to keep them calm:
- “I stay in the barn with them as the fireworks are near our farm.”
- “I give extra hay for anxiety and stay near my horses until they're over.”
- “I stay with my horse outside her paddock and stall throughout the worst of the fireworks.”
- “I use earplugs on the most fearful one and check on them often.”
- “Fireworks are intense in Las Vegas. I stay home to keep watch (the horses). I had dry brush catch fire one year.”
- “I also turn the radio up to a high volume and keep a light on.”
- “I stayed with my horse during the fireworks and he was fine. We watched them from the field together.”
- “I turn on the barn lights and the radio before it all starts. Our area has lots of fireworks.”
- “I have a large fan running which creates some white noise to soften the sound of the fireworks.”
- “I turn on music so the fireworks' noise becomes more of a background noise.”
- “I leave the lights on in the barn. They hang out there and the flashes are not that bad.”
And a few people said their horses are not exposed to fireworks:
- “My horses are ranch horses and there aren't many fireworks way out here in Texas.”
- “Fireworks are over 30 miles away on the other side of the mountain.”
- “I live in a rural area of a rural island so the fireworks are far, far away.”
- “No fireworks surrounding our farm.”
This week we want to know: what types of water sources do your horses have access to? Vote now and share your comments at TheHorse.com!
The results of our weekly polls are published in The Horse Health E-Newsletter, which offers news on diseases, veterinary research, health events, and in-depth articles on common equine health conditions and what you can do to recognize, avoid, or treat them. Sign up for our e-newsletters on our homepage and look for a new poll on TheHorse.com.
About the Author
Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer, is a lifelong horse owner who competes with her Appaloosas in Western performance events. She is a University of Kentucky graduate and holds a bachelor’s degree in Community Communications and Leadership Development, and master's degree in Career, Technical, and Leadership Education. She currently lives on a small farm in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.
POLL: Holiday Horse Care