CARING FOR HORSES IN CHALLENGING TIMES

Friday, April 3, 2020 - 11:36am

As we are faced with many unprecedented challenges, it is an ideal to time to remind our members to include your beloved equine companions in contingency planning now and for the future.   Please also look to your state or local government to keep abreast of any restrictions in place that may affect your farm and horses.   The Pyramid Society is also actively working to identify contacts and resources that could assist those in need. 

Pyramid Society member Norman Davis, who works in the healthcare profession, kindly shared some important thoughts for all of us to keep in mind concerning the health and safety of our horses.

  1. Think about who you trust to care for your horses if you are unable to do so due to illness or other unforeseen circumstances. 
  2. Create a Master Plan, write it down and make official if possible, then share with those you have identified to assist.  Update regularly when circumstances change.
  3. Maintain an awareness of your assets in regard to the continued care of your horses in the event that you fall ill or are otherwise unable to care for them yourself.  Be sure someone can obtain feed and required veterinary attention if needed. 
  4. Stay in touch with neighbors, horse friends, family and even local authorities.  Check in on each other and have folks check in on you.  Plan a response if they are unable to reach you.  Who is called?  Who comes physically to check while maintaining Social Distancing?
  5. Please make sure your registration papers are organized and that you have PHOTO ID of your horses.  If this is not possible in your circumstances, create a map of your farm identifying each stall and paddock or pasture and which horse is kept where.  Include physical and behavioral descriptions so that in the event of an emergency, others can readily identify your horses and act on their behalf if necessary.
  6. Should you be in need of help, do not hesitate to reach out.  If someone reaches out, work to solve the problem first.  If there are horses at risk, immediate attention should be given to sharing supplies and rendering assistance.  Farms with pasture, space and resources, both manpower and financial, should consider assisting those with limited or no pasture or resources to care for stall and paddock kept horses.  Remember that challenging circumstances are never the time for judgment, and that human and equine lives matter most. 
  7. Many of us have fond memories and friendships that have been lost in the hustle and bustle of day to day life, well before the current COVID-19 challenges.  So rekindle old friendships, check on your fellow breeders, trainers, farms, riders and help each other.   Reach out to those who have horses, even if you don’t know them personally, and just make sure all is well.