With this tragic COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic that has hit the world, many states are issuing Stay-at-Home orders (including Colorado). While every municipality/county/state is going to be different, we will highlight some of the important facts for you especially revolving around us here in Colorado.
Are you stuck in your house until this is over? No. You may travel out for essential needs (See a list below for what falls into this category). However, please be responsible. If you do not NEED to go someplace, just don’t. The faster we all comply and help stop the spread of this virus, the faster things can go back to normal.
Can you visit your horse? This is a tough one. If you live in, or your horse lives in, any of the areas under a stay-at-home order (which is the entire state of Colorado), UNLESS you are the main caretaker of your horse, you should not go see your horse. While this really is inconvenient, it is for the best for everyone involved. Your horse will survive without being ridden (they will actually probably enjoy their staycation). The last thing we want to do is accidentally bring the virus to the barn and get the fulltime caretakers sick.
If you do absolutely need to go to the barn, if you have any symptoms of a cold/cough, indigestion, or any fever, just don’t go (or if you have been in contact with anyone in the last 2 weeks that has been sick). If you believe yourself to be healthy, keep as much of a distance from others as possible. Bring your own disinfectant with you and disinfect literally everything you touch. Get in, get out, and touch as few things as possible (see your horse only, avoid public areas, etc). Some barns have setup sanitization areas as if there was a strangles outbreak (gloves, bleach wipes, wash stations, hand sanitizer, boot buckets with bleach, etc) in case owners do need to come out. But please don’t rely on your barn to provide this for you at no cost, it will add up exponentially for them!
Please remember the barn is someone else’s home. So if they specifically request you to not come, understand they are doing their best to protect their family, their staff, the horses, and their boarders. The sooner this virus is under control, the happier we will all be.
Some barns are closing their doors to boarders/visitors which is due to a variety of reasons including; immune-compromised staff/owners, insurance not covering them (actually not covering their business activities AKA boarders) during stay at home orders, wanting to ensure everyone stays healthy (including the horses, being guaranteed to have proper care from healthy staff).
We have heard some great things local barns are doing to keep horse owners in touch with their horses and to make this difficult time easier:
- Updating Facebook Pages, Facebook Groups, etc with daily photos of each horse and updates on the care etc.
- Doing quick FaceTime or Skype with owners and their horse.
- Sharing Barn Cam logins so owners can watch their horses from home.
- Dropping training requirements, etc. since many owners are without income right now.
- Offering extra turnout.
- Offering to lunge client’s horses at minimal or no charge.
- If you have other suggestions, comment them below!
If you are still unsure if going to the barn is a good idea, consider this: Doctors might have to choose who lives and dies because of the spread of this virus. Just don’t risk spreading it if you can avoid it. https://www.npr.org/2020/03/21/819645036/u-s-hospitals-prepare-guidelines-for-who-gets-care-amid-coronavirus-surge
|Getting medical care for you, a family member, or your pet.||In-person public or private gatherings of any size with people outside of your residence.|
|Visiting a health care professional.||Traveling, except to get or provide essential services or medical care.|
|Getting medical supplies or medication.||Carpooling with anyone outside of your residence.|
|Going to get groceries, food (via take-out, drive-thru, Foodbanks) or other essential household items.|
|Picking up materials from your child’s school needed for distance learning.|
|Going outside for physical activity, as long as you stay at least 6 feet away from people who are not in your household and follow social distancing practices.|
|Going to work, ONLY if you provide essential products or services at an essential business ( Critical infrastructure employers include utilities, fuel supply and transmission, public water, telecommunications, transportation, hotels, organizations that provide services to disadvantaged people and those in the food supply chain. Critical manufacturing includes those who produce food, beverages, chemicals, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and sanitary products. Critical retail includes grocery and liquor stores, farms, gas stations, restaurants and bars for takeout or delivery, medical marijuana dispensaries, recreational/retail marijuana but only for curbside service; and hardware stores. Critical services include trash and recycling, shipping, laundromats, child care, building cleaning and maintenance, auto supply and repair, warehouses and distribution, funeral homes, crematoriums, and animal shelters and rescue.)|
We will continue to update this article as more information becomes available. Also feel free to reach out to us directly if you have helpful info or ideas! Together (from a distance) we can get through this!