Implement these safety best practices to help celebrate Independence Day with the greatest display of all­—a safe, injury-free horse.

Independence Day brings out patriotism, family fun and more than 200 million pounds of fireworks, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association.

How does your horse react to fireworks?

In a recent horse owner survey, which examined the effects fireworks can have on horses, 99 percent of respondents indicated their horse exhibited fireworks-related anxiety—such as galloping, sweating, trembling and damaging fences—and 26 percent of horse owners reported their horse sustaining injuries due to such anxiety from fireworks. While multiple injuries were reported, the most common included cuts, sprains and broken limbs.

Before the holiday, visit with your veterinarian about prescribing a mild sedative to calm your horse’s nerves and be clear on how and when to use it.

Implement the following safety best practices:

1. Place your horse in a safe, familiar space such as his stall. Ensure you double check the area for sharp edges and any other material that could be harmful, should he become fractious. Remove access to food and water while your horse is sedated.

2. Make sure your equine first-aid kit is fully stocked with all the must-have items.

3. Keep a consistent watch, and check in on your horse often to ensure he is resting comfortably in his stall.

Work with your veterinarian for additional guidance on emergency care and first aid.

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