Horse­keep­ing

Here’s what to know about biose­cu­rity—that is, keep­ing your horse safe from in­fec­tion at home or on the road.

Horse & Rider - - Contents -

Biose­cu­rity tips to stave off in­fec­tion.

We all want our horses to stay healthy. To­ward that end, a pro­gram of on­go­ing pro­tec­tive mea­sures (pop­u­larly known as “biose­cu­rity”) is your first, best line of de­fense against in­fec­tious dis­eases. Here are the ba­sics, for at home and on the road.

Around the Barn

Work with your vet­eri­nar­ian to es­tab­lish an ap­pro­pri­ate vac­ci­na­tion pro­gram for all horses in your care.

Be sure all horses en­ter­ing your fa­cil­ity (or the one where your horse is boarded) are ap­pro­pri­ately vac­ci­nated and free of com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases. Ide­ally, iso­late all in­com­ing horses for up to 30 days.

Don’t share wa­ter or feed buck­ets; groom­ing equipment; or any piece of gear that may come into con­tact with a horse’s eyes, nose, or mouth.

When clean­ing or fill­ing wa­ter con­tain­ers, don’t al­low the hose noz­zle to touch the con­tainer.

When Trav­el­ing

Don’t trans­port your horses with horses from other farms. Use your own trailer when pos­si­ble and san­i­tize any other trailer be­fore us­ing. Keep a dis­in­fec­tant-filled spray bot­tle handy to dis­in­fect stalls and sta­ble ar­eas be­fore mov­ing your horse into a show grounds or other new fa­cil­ity. (Spray lib­er­ally.) Don’t use com­mon wa­ter buck­ets or feed ar­eas at shows or event grounds. As at home, don’t touch the end of a hose to your horse’s wa­ter bucket, or let it sub­merge in the wa­ter as you fill the bucket. Don’t let your horse touch noses with other horses, or graze in ar­eas where other horses have re­cently been graz­ing. Don’t bor­row/share hal­ters, twitches, lip chains, or other items that may touch a horse’s eyes, nose, or mouth.

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