Decorate the barn for the holidays – without a vet bill


I think it’s perfectly awesome to decorate the barn for the holidays. I also think it’s perfectly fine to not decorate the barn. But if you do decide to go for it, there are a few things to think about. Can your horse reach the decorations? Will the decorations burn your barn down? And can the decorations poison your horse?


horse eating holiday wreath

BAD PONY. Time to move the wreath.


Keep holiday decorations out of reach of your horse.


  • Garlands, ornaments, lights will be utterly delicious and irresistible to some horses. Arrange any holiday decorations away from the reach of every horse, even the least curious ones. If you have a particularly clever horse that might use his powers of sorcery and contortion for evil and not good, skip decorating around that guy’s house. The trouble with garland and long stringed things is that they can easily create impactions if eaten.


christmas tree with bows

Ribbon makes a tasty snack, one that might require a giant Vet bill to remedy.


  • Also, think about the barn cats and dogs – are they going to be tempted to grab some garland and zip down the barn aisle?


Don’t burn down the barn.


  • Sure, twinkly lights are the best! But overworked circuitry and extension cords increase fire risks. If you absolutely positively MUST have lights, make sure they are the LED version that won’t generate heat.


fake holly

Stick to the fake versions of toxic plants.


Don’t use poisonous decorations around horses and pets.


  • Holly, mistletoe, and poinsettia are all toxic. Mistletoe and holly are definitely toxic to horses, dogs, and cats. Poinsettia is mildly toxic. You may want to stick to artificial varieties of these things. Same goes for pine, but for a non-toxic reason. While the real version if pine is lovely, there is a lot of sap involved!


fake poinsettia

Even though it’s fake holly, keep it away from curious critters.


There are still plenty of ways to decorate at the barn, just keep the fire department and the vet away when you start spreading all of that joy around.