Katie Hennessy

Keeping Your Horse Safe During COVID-19

Caution and staying smart with regards to hygiene is the key to managing life with COVID-19. Everyone has been impacted by the current pandemic and life is different. If you are lucky enough to live with your horses, they may be getting more love and attention from your requirement to stay home. If you love traveling or competing with your horse then undoubtedly that time with your horse has been curtailed due to events being canceled or travel locations closed.

This is an incredibly difficult time for everyone. Many have lost their employment or had hours significantly reduced, which puts increased financial strain on families. As most “horse people” know, horses have an excellent ability to get hurt at the most inconvenient times. A sick or injured horse may require veterinary care and this adds to the financial strain. Catching and treating problems early can save money and shorten the road to recovery. 

While COVID-19 is spread among people, there is no evidence your horse can catch or transmit COVID-19 to you. That being said, proper hygiene and handwashing is still a great idea! If you have any concerns, always speak with your veterinarian for the best advice for you and your horse. 

If you keep your horses at a boarding barn, continuing social distancing.  Hygiene is important when you share equipment or common space with other boarders. Make sure to stay 6 feet apart and don’t touch your face until you have washed your hands with soap. 

Make sure to have a first aid kit stocked and available and have a back-up plan in case you do become ill. A back-up plan means having a member of your family or someone from your barn available to feed and care for your horse if you are unable. Ensure you have extra feed, hay, bedding (enough for two weeks at all times) and have a feed chart available for whoever is taking care of your horse to minimize the disruption to their routine.

During this difficult time, it’s important to take care of yourself and develop a plan for your horse. No one plans on being sick, so preparation is key! “Plan for the worst, hope for the best.”

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