Covid 19 (Coronavirus) – General Safety Advice
Avoid the area or activity where the problem occurs if at all practicable. If a ridden problem, stop riding and use ground work or physio led exercises including pole work for example. Only use techniques you are competent in and confident you can do safely. If a travel issue avoid travel and ask your vet to assist with sedation in any emergency or if travel unavoidable.
Wear your riding hat, stout boots ideally with steel toecaps, riding gloves and a body protector around your ‘problem’ horse at all times.
Do not work around a loose horse in a box. Catch (over the door if bargy etc) and take out and tie up to do. Use a grazing muzzle for horses that bite.
If self isolating or avoiding others but doing your horse e.g. without other people around, make sure family or friends know when you should be safely back and call/ text etc to let them know, so that if anything goes wrong and they don’t hear from you at the expected time, they can check and summon help if required.
Make contingency plans for horse care should you become ill or advised to self isolate for any reason, including arranging full livery and/or booking other professional horse care. Encourage your livery yard to come up with a group plan here. Do not allow non horsy people, however well meaning, to help as they may get hurt.
Have your horse’s passport and a document where it is readily available to those who may be helping with all of your horse’s day to day care requirements on it (multiple copies if required e.g. at home, at work, at the yard) – including medication, allergies, feed (all details of what goes into bucket and if soaked and for how long etc and which and amounts of forage and when feed or haynets etc given or if fed loose), supplements, favourite treats, dislikes, quirks, rug regime, usual exercise, date last wormed and with what, date last shod, when vaccination due and contact details for professionals involved with your horse including vet, farrier, saddler, physio and any other therapist used. Try the ‘ Equibuddy’ system which is a bit like Facebook for horses! Hopefully you won’t need any help here, but it will give you peace of mind if pre-organised.
Be mindful of vulnerable others and do what you can to help them – staying sensible and working together is always best in the long term and in these tough times, our equine friends can be a great comfort.