For Equine Owners/Caretakers During a Pandemic
We do an amazing job year round caring for our horses, and often go above and beyond the basic welfare standards to give them a very high quality of life. Unfortunately, this pandemic requires horse owners/operators to consider making arrangements for an alternative animal caretaker in the event taht they become ill and need long-term care themselves.
Developing a Personal Preparedness Pan can help relieve any worries you may have about getting sick and being unable to provide daily essential care for your horse(s).
Follow the list below to create your own emergency plan:
- Identify who will care for your horse(s) in case of illness or hospitalization. Redundancy is encouraged – it is not enough to have only one person identified!
- Identify each horse – do not assume that everyone can recognize who is who in a herd of similarly colored horses.
- Create a detailed and specific list of daily care instructions for each horse. Identify and prioritize essential care, considering only what is necessary to maintain welfare standards. Supplementing with pictures or video can be helpful. You may want to create a simplified list of care instructions if your caretaker is less experienced.
- Make sure you have two weeks of feed and medication on hand for every horse.
- Have electronic and written copies of the instructions in a conspicuous location.
- In the event that you begin to feel ill, contact those on your emergency list to apprise them of hte situation. Additionally, please minimize direct contact with your horse – if someone else needs to care for them, we must minimize their exposure to the virus.
For backup care providers:
- COVID 19 does not appear to affect animals but can exist on surfaces, especially nonporous surfaces. Do not touch anything handled by the ill person without personal protective equipment (PPR).
- Remember – the virus has not been proven to survive more than several days on any surface. If the horses’ welfare will not be compromised by minimal contact for five days, this would be preferred.
Information from E|H ExtensionHorses.org