Be mindful of risks your seasonal decorations can pose to your horses. As you deck the stalls this holiday season, keep your horse's safety in mind:
• Assume that anything within reach will be eaten, and hang stockings, lights and all decorations well out of the way.
• Use only outdoor-approved lights, and before hanging them inspect the cords for frayed areas or cracks.
• String lights away from hay, bedding and other flammable materials.
• Ensure that no wreaths, garlands or other greenery includes toxic plants, such as yew.
• Remember that the tinkling of sleigh bells can spook horses not accustomed to the sound.
This article first appeared in EQUUS issue #411, December 2011.