The pandemic has led to horse owners questioning the safety of their Andalusian horses. The statements about the spread of coronavirus by the World Health Organization officially exclude animals. While this is a breather, there are still some studies that highlight the diseases in animals. To be safe and sure, it is important to protect our horses at all costs. This blog post is going to be about maintaining stable hygiene for your Andalusian horse.
For starters, it is critical to maintaining a semblance of social distancing even in the stable. In the upcoming months, the barns are preparing themselves to re-open with a new “normal.” This is why sticking with the six feet distance enforcing several cleaning protocols will go a long way for your horse.
The local, provincial and federal boards have listed several recommendations for your horse’s safety. To help improve your barn’s biosecurity plan, here are some considerations you can follow to a T, to protect your Andalusian horses.
- Set up a washing area next to the entrance and exit of the stable. This will allow everyone to wash their hands before entering and when leaving the stable, thereby protecting your horse from being infected.
- Consider marking a drop-off area for the riding students. An area that students can go directly for their lesson horse in the arena.
- Continue maintaining the six feet protocol. Adhering to physical distancing until a cure is found is a necessary step.
- With regard to social distancing, many factors need to be considered. Lay out a well-thought plan that considers the spacing out area used to prep horses for a ride, maintaining a distance while riding, and limiting the numbers of riders and spectators in the arena. In case a six feet distance cannot be maintained, it is wise to request people to wear a cloth suit.
- Stock your kit with first aid protocols. This includes disposable masks, gloves and sanitizers. Make sure the first aiders are aware of COVID-19. Additionally, you can also get in touch with the local public authorities to draft the best practices.
- Plan out a cleaning schedule to disinfect common areas that are frequently touched. Create a disinfection squad that goes around multiple times a day to execute a cleansing regime esp on light switches, doorknobs, horse stalls (stall door latches)hoses, wash stalls, tack rooms, sprayers, brooms, wheelbarrows, shovels, pitch-forks, cross-ties, and any or all grooming and bathing equipment. Craft clear guidelines on how to clean the equipment profusely and who is responsible for cleaning in a given schedule.
- Consider arranging an outdoor grooming stall. If this is not practical for you, allow tacking up within the horse stalls rather than sharing cross-ties. Alternatively, ask riders to spray or wipe down areas they have touched with a disinfectant. Cleaning tack and grooming supplies after each use can be a part of the disinfecting protocol.
- Whenever possible, make sure you use the outdoor rings.
- Keep a sign-in list to limit the number of people allowed on the property. Create a schedule for boarders and lessons to estimate a minimal amount of people on the property.
- The National Farm and Facility Level Biosecurity Standard has drafted six steps of the biosecurity plan for the equine sector.
- Adhering to self-screening is another protecting regime. Any exhibiting signs of COVID-19 should not be allowed on the property.
It is crucial to always practice good stable hygiene which also includes wearing clean clothes to the barn and disinfecting and cleaning the boots. If you plan to visit different barns in a day, follow the cleaning regime for each barn. With your every visit to the stable, it is wise to bring clean or spare riding gloves.
Dr Scott Wese, an infection control expert has a lot to add to stable hygiene.
He calls coronavirus an easy-to-kill virus that can be removed with a regular disinfectant. On surface areas, the virus is less likely to survive more than a couple of days. Scheduling classes every other day instead of every day could be a good start after the lockdown is lifted.
The main risk for the spread of coronavirus isn’t our environment but the people. Certain measures to keep out sick or infected people is crucial. Apart from that, minimizing the crossover of surfaces and tacks is useful.
Given the susceptibility of this virus, plain soap and some water can do the job too. For future considerations, if you need to gain an increased control, make sure you get a leather-safe soap. If you are not sure about disinfecting a place, a regular disinfecting spray will be suitable. Either that, or you can leave the items for a couple of days for the virus microbes to die.
Don’t forget to watch the new Kat Andalusians sizzle reel!