Fast forward 25 years and anyone reading this blog will find it rather bizarre, it’s not a Will Smith apocalypse movie, it’s real life. We’ve been told by the government to stay at home for at least three weeks and we must abide by the new rules. To help condense the advice released by the government we’ve put together a handy guide about what you can do with your horse during social distancing due to COVID-19.
What are the rules:
- Stay at home and only see people you live with
- Only leave the house to get necessities, these include food and medicine supplies
- Traveling to and from work when you absolutely must
- For medical reasons or to care for vulnerable people
- Walking animals, keeping at least 2 metres away from anyone else out walking or exercising always
- One form of exercise a day- including running, cycling, and horse riding.
Can I see my horse?
- The care of animals is considered essential travel, you will still be allowed to tend to your horse. Horses cannot contract COVID-19 so you can enjoy grooming and spending time with your horse during this stressful time
- If your horse is on a livery yard, please check with the yard owner that you’re still allowed to access the yard. Many full livery yards have closed their doors to ensure staff are kept safe and if you are able to visit your horse it is worth checking with your yard owner what you can do with your horse on their yard. Certain areas might be out of bounds
- Ensure you wear a pair of gloves when at the yard
- Take anti-bacterial wipes with you and wipe down any handles or surfaces you encounter. Do not linger at the yard or interact with other people while there. Go up once a day if possible to ensure your movements are restricted
- We understand feed merchants will remain open for the sale of feed and forage as this is essential to animal welfare. We recommend calling to see if they will deliver to you.
What can I do with my horse?
- The British Equestrian Federation’s current advice is for individuals to safely and considerately enjoy their horses in the fresh air due to the benefits to your wellbeing and mental health. We will keep a close eye on the official advice and update you should this change
- We can confirm there are no implications on Harry Hall horse insurance policies, the general advice would always be if you are poorly do not ride, and this would be the same here. If you are self-isolating due to feeling ill you must not, under any circumstances visit your yard, this could put others at risk.
- If you’re hacking out only ride out with members of your household. Strictly no hacking out with other people on the yard who you do not live with
- Stick to routes you know, now is not the time to try out a new hacking route that neither you nor your horse is familiar with. We recommend using a ride tracking app – Harry Hall’s ride tracking app has a SafeRide feature ensuring your family and friends will know where you are should you have an accident
- All organized activity including transporting your horse for the purpose of training, having a coach to your yard, or having a lesson at a riding centre should stop immediately
- Please be mindful of the activities you are taking part in to reduce risk, for example riding a fresh young horse or jumping an unfamiliar horse is not advisable. And finally, please consider whether you really need to ride, can you horse enjoy a more relaxed routine for the next three weeks?
Having a backup plan for your horse - what this involves
- Should you have to self-isolate or become ill you must not leave your home. In this situation, it is advisable to have a buddy ready to help care for your horse(s)
- Prepare and leave written instructions of their feed, turnout routine, rugs, etc at the yard should you have to ask someone to help you out without much notice
- It’s advisable to check they have public liability insurance in place to protect their interests if they need to look after our animals. Harry Hall insurance starts immediately and should someone you know need insurance, click here to send them the link.
- Veterinary professionals will still be allowed to work and have access to yards. We recommend only calling your vet when necessary. Non-emergency appointments should be postponed where possible.
If you have any further questions please email us at [email protected] and we will endeavor to answer your queries.
Most of all stay safe, stay at home, and be sensible during this time. Have faith that these times will soon pass, and we’ll look back on this bonkers time wondering if it really happened.
The Harry Hall team is working from home and our warehouse teams can attend work, we have taken measures to ensure our warehouses are run on skeleton staff to eliminate the need for interaction. Orders are being despatched as normal and next working day delivery remains if ordered before 2pm on a Monday – Thursday. Orders placed after 2pm Thursday will be delivered the following Monday.
You can still call us on 01274 711 100, use live chat on the website, email us or drop us a message on Facebook.
Thank you one and all
Team HH xx
British Equestrian Federation - helpful information on what you can do in these times
Current Government guidelines
Help horses in need - donate to World Horse Welfare
Equestrian employer check out this great piece from Horse and Hound
Pet information from the RSPCA