Keep Calm and Feed a Calmer this bonfire night!

Many people enjoy bonfire night, but for us horse owners it can be an extremely stressful time of the year. Horses are flight animals which means that anything unexpected can startle them.  Individual horses’ reactions can vary greatly and knowing what’s best for your horse can be a real challenge.

So how can you make bonfire night less stressful?

Firstly, find out when local displays are going to take place and stay in touch you’re your neighbours to find out if and when they are planning to let off fireworks

Decide whether to stable or turn your horse out on the night of the fireworks.  This will depend on how close the fireworks are and whether turnout is safe.  Horses are creatures of routine, so keeping things normal is going to reduce stress and make them feel secure.

Follow our top tips to help your horse cope with bonfire night: 

Feeding a Calmer: 

  • Feed a calmer paste on the night of any local displays. Nettex Calmer Syringe Paste Boost is ideal as it contains magnesium aspartate hydrochloride and L-Theanine, an anti-stress amino acid active from green tea, for a rapid and prolonged effect.
  • If you have a horse that is stressed over the entire bonfire night period try feeding a calmer daily over this time. Nettex Calmer Maintenance Liquid contains magnesium aspartate hydrochloride, the gold standard of magnesium and is quickly absorbed for a rapid and long-lasting effect. Nettex Calmer Maintenance Powder is formulated to maintain magnesium levels using chelated magnesium giving long-lasting effectiveness. They can be ‘topped up’ with Nettex Calmer Syringe Paste Boost for nights when there are big firework displays.

Distract your horse:

  • Give your horse plenty of hay to keep him occupied
  • If your horse loves treats, try hanging a Nettex Tastylyx to keep him interested and take his mind off noises outside. Nettex Tastylyx come in three delicious natural flavours; apple, carrot and mint
  • Many horses love molasses licks, Nettex Supalyx are delicious, plus will provide vitamins and minerals for your horse, as well as taking their mind off what’s going on outside
  • Leave a radio on playing music to help mask the noise and keep your horse calm. Getting your horse used to a radio before will really help

Safety first:

  • Make sure that someone experienced either stays with your horse or checks on them frequently during the evening.  Make sure that emergency contact details are to hand
  • It is important to stay calm yourself as horses will sense unease and this will make them more stressed
  • Most importantly be aware of your own safety, a startled horse can be dangerous
  • If you are concerned that your horse may have an extreme reaction discuss this with your vet before the night as oral sedation might be appropriate or consider moving your horse for the night
  • Likewise, make sure that you have adequate third party liability insurance, if your horse is scared and escapes causing an accident, you will be responsible for any compensation

Finally, remember to:

  • Rug your horse with a rug that will wick sweat away, but keep them warm, such as a fleece
  • Check fields the following morning for any stray fireworks that may have landed there, as they have the potential to cause injury to your horse
  • Keep calm and carry on, fortunately bonfire night is only once a year!

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