4th of July When You Have Horses at Home

How do you prepare your horses for a night of fireworks?

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I’ve come to accept that, as a horse owner with a herd at home, I don’t get to celebrate Independence Day like “normal” people.

Each year on July 4, as the sun begins to set and lawn chairs get turned toward Pilot Butte (which is basecamp for our town’s fireworks display) my husband and I pack up our potluck picnic items and head home, as is our tradition. For me, making sure my horses are safe when the first firework fuse gets lit is top priority.

Living on a small horse property with the middle of the dry high desert, my concerns are twofold: First, I worry about my horses becoming spooked at the sight and sound of fireworks and inadvertently injuring themselves. Second, wildfire sparked by fireworks is a very real threat in our area

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Written by:

Michelle Anderson is the former digital managing editor at The Horse. A lifelong horse owner, Anderson competes in dressage and enjoys trail riding. She’s a Washington State University graduate and holds a bachelor’s degree in communications with a minor in business administration and extensive coursework in animal sciences. She has worked in equine publishing since 1998. She currently lives with her husband on a small horse property in Central Oregon.

5 Responses

  1. I have only one horse and she is 19yrs old now. On the firework holidays I take her into the barn (her stall is 20ft by 20ft ) turn on music louder than normal, turn on all 6 fans, make sure there is plenty of good hay to eat and of course fresh water with a couple of peppermints in it lol. She has always run to me when she has gotten scared and looks to me for comfort so I will spend the night in there with her just having conversations and reassuring her. This works very well for us. She might jump on a couple of big bangs but no spooking or anything else as long as I tell her “You’re alright, nothing is going to hurt you, in a calm soothing low tone. I find that this really works well for her and I don’t mind a bit….Good excuse to spend the night in the barn………..

  2. re: 4th of July When You Have Horses at Home

    My husband and I also stay home with the dogs and horses; our local park holds a huge show which we can see from the house, but that means the horses can see it from the barn. They are usually pretty good, except for the year a drunk neighbor shot a bo

  3. re: 4th of July When You Have Horses at Home

    My 25-year-old Trakehner is coming off a 3-month layup for a check ligament tear, the heat is relentless in central Florida, and he is now improving from his first-time bout of not sweating. His pony is not a good role model either, and will use any ex

  4. re: 4th of July When You Have Horses at Home

    I’m right there with ya…  Every year I just try and make it through the 4th of July Holidays. The rest of the world enjoys their fireworks and I am just hunkered down with nervous dogs and horses. And you are right, it is sooo dangerously dry th

  5. re: 4th of July When You Have Horses at Home

    We live on the edge of nowhere, also in the high desert. Small fireworks are common in the village, but it’s four miles away. Our closer neighbors have as healthy an aversion to fire-starters as we do, and therefor there are no fireworks in our immedia

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