Keep Your Horse Safe This Labor Day Weekend

Fireworks are an integral part of many celebrations across the United States. From Independence and Labor Day to New Year's Eve and the small occasions in between, Americans love the sparkle and dazzle of a fireworks display. Of course, it's no surprise that there's a direct correlation between fireworks and spooked pets — the Fourth of July happens to be the single most crowded day in animal shelters across the country. For their part, our equine friends are no different.

So as we head into this Labor Day weekend, let's all remember that horses react with an instinctual "flight" response when fireworks, gunshots, loud and sudden sounds, or unexpected bright lights frighten appear without warning. While officially-sponsored fireworks displays are usually publicized and announced in communities, many people set off their own private fireworks displays with little to no regard for the impact they have on neighboring animals, both large and small. 

We can prepare our horses to be better equipped to handle these situations. “Sacking out” is process of systematic desensitization to potentially frightening situations and objects. A horse is gradually introduced to noises, sounds and the sudden sights of things they might encounter at a show, a trail ride or just from windblown debris (included the dreaded plastic bag). One critical point to remember while training your horse and walking through the "sacking out" process is that your horse trusts you and your opinion. If you are present and it doesn’t upset you, then there is nothing to worry about (or so your horse will think). 

However, despite training and desensitization, there are still many unforeseen scenarios that can spook a horse. What's more frightening still is that we can't be there for our horses every time they encounter something that scares them. But NIGHTWATCH® can be there when we can't. The NIGHTWATCH® smart halters are designed to alert you via SMS/text, phone call, and email at the early signs of equine distress, giving you peace of mind to know the state of your horse even when you can't be present. 

This revolutionary device monitors real-time data on your horse’s vital signs and behaviors, works across cellular and WiFi networks, offers GPS tracking, and adapts to your horse over time as the system learns their unique and normal patterns and parameters. What's more, all technology (eg, sensors, microprocessors, transceivers, batteries) is non-invasively embedded within the padded leather crown of each halter, designed by Freedman's, making NIGHTWATCH® safe and comfortable for long-term use on horses in a variety of conditions.