We are happy to share this note from Tara Swersie, CEO of Event Clinics, about what you can do to incorporate COVID-19 protection protocols into your equestrian activities.
As worldwide concerns about COVID-19 continues to grow, our #1 priority is the safety of our equestrian community.
If you participate in or hold equestrian activities in the next 45 days, we ask that you treat the CDC/WHO guidelines for COVID-19 social distancing with the same commitment you would give strangles prevention protocols. That includes:
- A minimum space barrier of six feet between yourself and other people at all times
- No more than 10 people in an area or present at an activity at one time
- Disinfecting all common surfaces/items handled by multiple people
COVID-19 person-to-person transmission primarily occurs when an infected person sends out respiratory droplets via either sneezing or coughing. Please practice and enforce the six feet social distancing rule until it becomes second nature to you. That means no hacking out horses side-by-side, no casual chats with friends in the tack room, and no standing next to one another watching a clinic.
While less common, a person can also contract COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose. The team who cares for your horses will be under considerable strain to disinfect common surfaces and limit your exposure risk. Expect that shared barn items like pitchforks, pencils, wheelbarrows, hoses, etc. are off limits for the next 45 days.
Keep In Mind
Many equestrian businesses and service providers are struggling financially to cope with the pandemic’s impact. If a venue is graciously offering you distance lessons or schooling options, do what you can to pay it forward. #StrideForward
- Post a nice note/facility photo on social media and tag the farm. Use #StrideForward on Instagram to help get the word out.
- Pay schooling fees and board electronically, on time, as much as possible.
- Be as sensitive as possible to their health risks and staff exposure concerns as you possibly can be. Horse people are stoic, not invincible.
Before You Visit The Barn or Schooling Venue
- Monitor your own health. DO NOT go to the barn or take your horse schooling if you have any COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, coughing, or unusual shortness of breath.
- Feeling exhausted? Not sure if you “have something” or just a wine hangover? Take your own temperature and rule out a fever.
- Do not go to the barn if you have been in an airport in the last 14 days.
- Use the bathroom at your home, rather than the barn. The fewer areas you access around the barn, the easier it is on barn employees.
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before you leave your home.
How To Visit Your Horse
- If the facility that cares for your horse allows outside visitors, be considerate of the staff’s health risks and the 10 -person rule.
- Do what you can to avoid showing up to ride at the same time as other boarders/service providers. Remember that vets and farriers need to visit the facility too — and they count under the 10 person-rule.
- Set up a group text and deconflict ride times.
- Disinfect (wash/sse Sanitizer) your hands upon arrival.
- Avoid touching things such as door knobs, lockers, stall door latches and light switches unnecessarily. Limit your use of common barn tools such as pitchforks, etc. Limit your stall contact to just the one that contains your horse(s).
- Avoid petting barn dogs and cats.
- Ride your horse outside (in the sunlight) away from others as much as possible. It’s great for your spirit, plus the virus doesn’t like sunlight.
- While on horseback, practice the 6-foot separation rule.
Before You Leave The Barn
- Disinfect anything you’ve touched before you depart.
- Smile at barn employees and thank them for their work. They are under a lot of stress right now and appreciate your support.
Thank you for your patience, support and understanding as the equestrian community collectively works to address these global health concerns. In partnership with Eventing Nation, we’ll be publishing updates as they become available.
Stay Safe & Hug Your Horse,
Team Event Clinics