Dressing horses up for Halloween parties and parades can be great fun, but you’ll want to keep the following guidelines in mind to prevent an inadvertent scare.
• Acclimate your horse to costume items slowly, especially if they are unlike anything he’s worn before. If he is skittish, stick to decorating his usual sheets, blanket and tack.
• Don’t let any part of the costume droop, drag or unwind so it could be stepped on or entangled between your horse’s legs.
• Use only nontoxic paints and dyes on your horse. Tempera paint, used in elementary schools, is nontoxic and washes out of coats easily.
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• Be prepared for your horse to be suspicious of his costumed herdmates. If he’s normally spooky, he’s likely to be extra reactive to unfamiliar sights, so consider going to the costume event on foot.
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This article first appeared in EQUUS issue #445, October 2014.