Tuesday 24th March, 2020
Coronavirus is sweeping the globe, and as the pandemic continues to spread, the UK has gone into lockdown. Social distancing and/or self-isolation are now essential, so what does that mean for busy stable yards? All routine veterinary work is now cancelled, which begs the question, can livery yards continue to operate? Read our tips for how you can stay safe while looking after your horse.
Stable yards usually have communal areas such as hard standings where you groom your horse, tack up and wash down etc. They also have communal tack rooms and feed rooms. This means that on a busy yard, at any one time, you may be in close proximity to other horse owners. Ways to tackle this are to stagger visits to the yard, only allow one person per horse to attend the yard and maintain 2 metre distance from each other at all times.
Exercise is essential for both you and your horse to maintain physical and emotional health at this time. You can still go on a hack with other riders, but ensure that you maintain your distance and do not hold each other’s horses or help each other tack up etc. If fellow horse owners do fall ill, you can offer to help with their horse by lungeing them in the field or ménage to maintain their fitness.
Coronavirus is killed by soap, therefore the best way to avoid infection is to thoroughly wash your hands. Set up a handwashing station or have hand gel available for use on entering and leaving the yard. Also don’t allow food and drink to be consumed on the yard if possible, to avoid people putting their hands near their mouths.
Follow the local and national news so that you are up to date with the latest developments. There may even be a way that you and your stablemates can help the community. Grocery deliveries on horseback would certainly bring a smile to the faces of children up and down the country! Get creative and see how you can help spread a little joy during the lockdown.