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Caring for Your Equine throughout the Coronavirus pandemic:

DATE

March 27, 2020

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HAPPA’s reassurance for HORSE OWNERS during these difficult times.
 
As the country is in lockdown, we appreciate that many horse owners will be growing increasingly worried and concerned how they will continue to provide a ‘duty of care’ attending to the daily needs of their horse.
Providing basic needs to your equine is considered necessary and ensuring that you conform to the government guidelines and maintain social distancing whilst at the yard is paramount. The COVID-19 situation is changing daily and we recommend that owners have a crisis plan in operation should they have to self-isolate.
 
Putting a plan in place now will alleviate worry and ensure good peace of mind should you need to self-isolate.
 
We urge equine owners to concentrate on the general care and wellbeing of your equine and avoid any high risk activities, such as jumping or risk riding a young, or nervous unpredictable/ excitable horse.
 
Emergency services are stretched to capacity and we would hate for them to be engaged on riding accidents and incidents during these challenging times.
 
Of course there are no strict instructions not to ride your horse and everyone is able to make their own decision. Ensure that you always wear the correct PPE whilst handling your horse even on the ground, to avoid any injuries.
 
Ensure that you follow good biosecurity measures and take extra precautions for your own and other’s safety, it’s a good idea to have your own equipment and not share communal tools. If you have to share implements such as forks and wheelbarrow’s ensure that they are disinfected after and before use.
 
If you stable on a livery yard, consider reducing your time spent at the yard, without compromising the welfare of your horse and be mindful of social distancing from other liveries.
It may be wise to assess your feeding regime and reduce hard feed to decrease energy levels according to type and accommodate a reduced exercise routine.
 
Owners may be tempted to consider turn out earlier than normal and we are currently experiencing some lovely dry weather. However, introduce change slowly and follow the rules of feeding and inspect your paddocks to ensure that they are adequately fenced.
 
 
Vets are operating emergency only calls and routine work such as vaccinations and dentals are being put on hold. Vets are asking for your patience when calling for a visit and reception staff may have to triage your call to a Vet to ensure the best decisions can be made regarding treatment.
 
Farriers are allowed to work and are classed as key workers, however, before any visits it is advisory to contact them to discuss precautionary measures, to ensure that social distancing can be practised and maintained to ensure the safety of both parties.
 
Finally, if you are experiencing hardship our advice line is open for support, we receive a high number of calls from owners seeking to re-home their equines. We are unable to offer financial support but have an ear to lend if you are in difficult times.
 
Unfortunately we have limited resources and have to prioritise welfare and rescue case animals coming into the Centre.
 
Stay at home and follow the Government’s advice and only venture out for essential journeys.
 
For more information and to keep updated with all of the rapid changes visit www.gov.uk and stop the spread.
 
We wish you and your equines all the best during this unprecedented crisis, please stay safe and maintain a good hygiene routine and look after each other. #Staysafe

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