EQUUS - - Eq Handson - By Chris­tine Barakat with Melinda Freck­le­ton, DVM

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.

• 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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