Advice For Horse Owners | Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Nutritional Support for the Competition Horse

Advice For Horse Owners | Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Here’s the top advice for horse owners during the Coronavirus pandemic. Amidst, the uncertainty of the current climate, we have put together advice for all horse owners during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Keep Updated

Keep up to date with the latest NHS and Government advice surrounding hygiene and protective measures, to ensure you and those who’s surround you stay safe.

NHS guidelines can be found here; https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Biosecurity 

Ensuring biosecurity is maximised will help prevent the catch and spread of the virus on your yard.

Individually, this means;

  • Washing your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds.
  • Always washing your hands when you get home, into work or even at the yard when you have been in a public space. 
  • Using hand sanitiser gel, only if soap and water are not available.
  • Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
  • Putting used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards.
  • Trying to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

Yard environments should be regularly sanitised, especially areas of high-use. Sanitising gateways, reception/office areas, toilets, communal areas and even gateways and stable doors, will all help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Plan For Social Isolation

Heading out to look after your horse is a non-negotiable, however with COVID-19 cases on the rise and yards often being a hub of activity, taking precautions to reduce footfall on yards may be necessary.

For horse owners suffering coronavirus symptoms of a fever or a new and contagious cough within the last 7 days, or if one of their family members begin to show them, self isolation is essential. Self isolation may also be considered for the over 70’s and those with underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, heart conditions, auto-immune conditions and lung conditions. If you fall into a self-isolation category, make sure to inform your yard and call on the help of those on your yard to help out with horse care. If you know those who do fall into one of these categories, reach out a helping hand!

Even if you’re not worried about the virus, be prepared for the worst. Make note of your horse’s feeding and routines which is easily accessible to others, and educate at least one other surrounding special medial procedures or requirements your horse may have. Alternatively, access to temporary care cover, such as a freelance groom, may be a good idea. Now is the time for you to reach out, make sure you and your horse trust your groom, and that they know your horse’s requirements – especially if you’ve never used one before. Checking out the British Grooms Association’s Registered Grooms is a great place to start!

Social Isolation Vs Social Distancing

Social isolation is when you and your family are confined to your home, and should be completed for a 14 day period if you or a household member begin to show symptoms of a ‘contagious’ cough or fever. This means you cannot visit or ride your horse, and will have to find a suitable carer for them.

On the other hand, during this period of trying to ‘flatten the curve’ of coronavirus cases, we should all be practicing social distancing. When practicing social distancing, we can vista and ride our horses as usual. However, devising allocated times to visit and ride your horse at busy yards, to avoid close contact with others, is advisory. Riding alongside friends should be avoided and as little people as possible should visit your horse. Equine professionals, such as farriers and vets, can still visit but may impose social distancing measures.

 

Keep Supporting Industry

In these times of uncertainty, it can be hard to not to panic and just focus on normal life! However, these uncertain times are hitting the equestrian industry hard, with many workers being self-employed or employed by small businesses.

If you can, shop at your local equestrian stores. Many offer phone or website orders, if you don’t want to or cannot venture to the store it’s self, and is a great way to keep local industry afloat!

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