Two Shetland ponies wander around a paddock together

​Horses and fireworks

Horses can be easily spooked by fireworks, but with preparation and planning, you can help to keep them safe and calm throughout firework season.

Here are some steps you can take to help keep your horse calm during firework season.

Download our poster on horses and fireworks

Type: pdf / Size: 195.67 KB

Preparing for fireworks with your horse

Plan in advance

Ahead of fireworks season or special events, try to find out whether there are any planned firework displays nearby. Once you know the date and time of firework events, you can put steps in place to keep your horse safe.

Checking or asking on local social media sites can be a useful way of finding out about events in your area. You can also contact neighbours, asking them to warn you in advance for any fireworks being planned. Anyone planning a display in a rural area should let neighbouring farmers know ahead of time.

Make a plan for moving your horse if necessary

It's best to keep your horse in a familiar environment when fireworks are expected, including keeping your horse outside if this is what they're used to. However, if your horse is particularly frightened of fireworks and they are living outside, you may want to consider stabling them during the evening of an event. If this is the case, it's important to get your horse familiar with this in advance.

In the run up to a firework event, start bringing your horse into the stable at the same time and with the same set up planned for the night of the firework display. This will allow your horse to become familiar with the stable and settle into a new routine.


If your horse does not like loud or sudden noises, or has become worried by fireworks in the past, talk to your vet before firework season begins.

Prepare their space

Ahead of firework season, do a full check to make sure your horse's stable, yard or field is safe and secure. This includes:

  • checking your horse's stable for anything that could cause injury if they get spooked, such as protruding nails
  • making sure that all fences in your horse's field are fully secure
  • checking your horse's field for any foreign objects that could cause harm – this includes removing any equipment or jumps left in the field, and checking for low hanging branches that your horse could run into
  • removing any temporary electric fencing

Fire safety

It's important to make sure that there are procedures in place in the event of a fire – especially if there are planned fireworks events nearby.

Get to know your evacuation plan and make sure that equipment such as extinguishers are working correctly. If your horse is in a livery, familiarise yourself with the procedure you are expected to follow.

Read more about what to do in the event of a fire.

Keeping your horse safe during Fireworks Night

There are some steps you can take to keep your horse calm during Fireworks Night.

Stick to routine

Your horse will cope best in a familiar environment, so stick to their normal routine throughout the day and keep them with any usual companions. This includes keeping your horse stabled if they are usually stabled.


Never run the risk of riding when you think fireworks might be set off.

Stay with your horse

If you know fireworks are going to be set off nearby, it's a good idea for you or someone experienced to stay and observe horse from a safe distance if they're in a field. It is not advisable to enter a stable with your horse if they are spooked – watch them from outside instead. Never put yourself in danger if your horse becomes startled.

If you share a yard with other owners, you could consider staying at the yard in shifts. If you do leave your horse in another person’s care, leave clear instructions and contact details for both yourself and your vet in case of any problems.

Stay calm

Keeping yourself calm

If you're staying with your horse, try to remain calm. Horses can sense your unease, and if you're worried, your horse’s fear may worsen.

It's also important not to get in the way of your horse if they become startled, as you could get yourself hurt.

Keeping your horse calm

There are some things you can do to help keep your horse calm during a firework display, including:

  • playing soothing music to mask the sound of fireworks if they're used to this
  • keeping any stable lights on to lessen the flashing lights
  • distracting your horse by making sure they have access to plenty of feed and enrichment to keep their mind focused

Checking your horse after fireworks

After a firework event, carry out a health check on your horse to check for cuts or injuries. You should also do a thorough sweep of your horse's area, removing pieces of used firework.

Page details


• 20 July 2023

Next review

• 20 July 2026

Approved by
Ruth Court

Horse Welfare Manager