THE DAY-TO-DAY care of horses will be restricted during the current Covid-19 crisis and so national pet charity, Blue Cross, has issued advice for horse owners, includes urging them not to ride during this time, so as to avoid potential accidents and any extra pressures this could add to the health service.

Horse owners who keep their horses in livery are encouraged to speak to their yard manager to ensure they are aware of their yard’s policy during the coronavirus pandemic. Some yards may insist on no visitors or have strict rules on number of visitors – so owners are advised to phone ahead and keep up to date on their yard rules.

To make caring for horses easier under the current restrictions, owners could consider roughing their horse off and turning them out to grass 24/7, however, this comes with a warning regarding laminitis prone horses and a need to keep a strict eye on their weight.

Blue Cross recommends having another horse owner as an ‘in case of emergency’ –someone who can be called if an owner falls ill and can act on their behalf as part of a buddy system. Owners are reminded that a buddy will have to be insured if handling their horse.

In order to decrease the number of visits a horse receives under these restrictions, Blue Cross suggests owners create a rota for yard visits to check on multiple horses at any one time. Those self-isolating will need to ask a family member or friend to look after their horse for them.

Regarding visits from a farrier, the British Farriers and Blacksmiths Association has advised against unnecessary travel and that registered farriers need to adhere to a new traffic light system which details which visits are essential depending on urgency of hoof care. Horse owners should consult with their farrier directly.

Similarly, vets have introduced restrictions and are now only delivering emergency care, along with providing urgent prescriptions.