Horses may not be impacted directly by COVID-19 the way humans are, but their care can be directly impacted by the goings-on in the world. The pandemic has caused new policies and procedures, delays, and even halts in many areas of life. These are the ways that horse care can be impacted by COVID-19.
Guidelines at Stables
Stables may have new policies in place to protect workers from contracting a virus. This can affect horse owners who are used to seamless access of said stables. Today, you may see stable owners requiring social distancing or masks in any confined spaces. Some stables may ask visitors to reserve times to visit their horses when at all possible to avoid letting in a large group of people. Make sure to check with your stables to find out if there are new guidelines you must follow.
Veterinarians may primarily work with animals, but they can have major exposure to the general public. This can be dangerous, and some veterinarians may become ill with COVID-19. It is worthwhile to have a backup veterinarian in place in case your primary caregiver is out sick. Keep in mind that COVID can take several weeks or months to fully work through a person’s body, so even after a veterinarian is not contagious, they may not be able to return to work. Additionally, you should make sure to find backup farriers and other horse care professionals in the event that they, too, become sick.
Food production can be influenced by a number of factors, and sickness is one. When farmers, packers, or delivery drivers become ill, they need to be replaced quickly to prevent any cogs in production. Horse owners may find an occasional food shortage, particularly if COVID continues to increase its spread. It may be wise to look for several sources of food for your horse, especially ones that are close to home.
COVID-19 has changed the way of life for everyone, and horse owners are no exception. It can be difficult to adapt to these new changes, but for your safety and the safety of your horse, you should keep each of these points in mind.