For many of us during covid our one link to sanity has been the ability to ride our horses even though we have missed the ability to compete or depending on the protocol followed in your barn, to participate in lessons.
After seeing horseshows cancelled all spring, horseshows are starting back up. Due to Covid they are proceeding a little differently than in the past. We are seeing restrictions as to the number of people who are allowed on the showgrounds. Some shows are only allowing the exhibitor and one extra person. They may also assign a ride time. Everyone may be required to wear a mask except for the exhibitor while in the ring.
The Virginia Horse Council has the following tips for maintaining safe practices around your horse barn at this time.
** Stay at least 6 feet away from other people
** The virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person, and no evidence indicates that animals or pets will become ill with Covid or spread it to other people
** These commonly used surfaces should be disinfected at least once a day: water and feed buckets, cross ties, lead ropes, halters and tack, grooming supplies, water taps and hoses, stall and barn door handles, wheelbarrow/shovel/broom handles, frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, light switches, countertops, etc
IF YOU CONTINUE TO HAVE BOARDERS OR LESSONS AT YOUR FACILITY:
** Limit the number of people in the barn so that they can maintain about 6 feet of distance between them. If riders or boarders are unable or unwilling to do this, you may have to excuse them from lessons or from coming to the barn until the pandemic has passed.
** Encourage boarders and owners to communicate with each other or to create a virtual schedule, to help limit the number of people present in the barn at the same time.
** Actively encourage sick people and boarders to stay home
** Ask boarders and owners to have enough feed (concentrate, hay, and supplements) and bedding for 2 weeks at the barn; emergency contacts and instructions for care (feed, supplements, medications, exercise, special concerns, etc) should be written down.
** Perform routine environmental cleaning and disinfecting.
** Change the barn hours to allow more time for cleaning and disinfecting.
** Emphasize respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all.
OUT OF AN ABUNDANCE OF CAUTION, IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT THOSE ILL WITH COVID 19 LIMIT CONTACT WITH ANIMALS UNTIL MORE INFORMATION IS KNOWN ABOUT THE VIRUS.