For horse owners, getting our four-legged friends from point A to point B and back can be anxiety inducing. When taking your horse out of the safety of their barn there’s no telling what’s a potential source of illness. Thankfully there are measures you can take to keep your equine partner protected.
Better Safe Than Sorry
The first step in protecting your horse from disease is having the right mindset. Don’t let the possibility of them getting sick keep you from enjoying your time with them and taking them places, but don’t let it take an outbreak alert for you to take extra precautions.
Keeping your horse on a regular vaccination schedule greatly reduces their chance of getting sick. Speak with your vet and discuss your horse’s needs.
Know Your Horse
Knowing your horse’s vitals when they are healthy can be crucial for your ability to recognize when there is a problem. Every horse is a little bit different but average ranges are as follows;
Temperature: 95.5 to 101.5 Degrees Fahrenheit
Respiration: 8 to 16 breaths/minute
Pulse: 30 to 45 beats/minute
Capillary Refill Time: 1 to 2 seconds
A Trustworthy Trailer
Transport your horse in your own trailer whenever possible. This will decrease the chances of them being exposed to things they aren’t acclimated to. If you’ve hauled an unfamiliar horse recently or have to use someone else’s trailer clean it out and disinfect it with Noble Outfitters Biosecurity Wash. This will kill off any pathogens and the best part is you don’t have to rinse the trailer afterwards because it’s food-grade safe.
Dogs Have Owners, Horses Have Staff
And when it comes to traveling with your horse (alongside your many other jobs) you’re the housekeeping service. Whether your horse is staying in a stall, pen or portable panels at a facility, spraying the area down with Biosecurity Wash will help eliminate potential contagions that might be on the walls, fences or in the ground.
Put Them in a Bubble
Okay, as much as you might want to at times, you can’t put them in an actual bubble, but making sure your horse’s personal space isn’t invaded by the noses of other curious horses is the best means of keeping them healthy on the road. Nothing spreads illness faster than nose-to-nose contact with an infected horse.
You Can Lead Your Horse to Water…
Don’t let them drink. Communal water sources are the perfect place for your horse to catch an illness. Instead, invest in a portable water caddy for your truck or trailer. This will ensure that your horse isn’t being exposed to anything harmful and if you tend to have trouble getting them to drink in unfamiliar places, having water from home will help keep them hydrated. Approach shared water hoses with the same amount of caution. Disinfect the end with a baby wipe or avoid putting it into your horse’s bucket.
What’s Mine is Mine
It is much easier to keep your horse happy and healthy if you avoid sharing your equipment with others. Keeping bits, brushes, saddle pads and other items limited to use on one horse deters the spread of ailments like colds and skin infections. You can take it one step further by doing this at home and labeling items with horses’ names or assigning each horse a particular color (i.e Trigger’s grain bucket is red).
What do you do to keep your horses healthy while traveling?