Keeping your sanity with the help of your horses is probably the best use of your time right now. I know there are a lot of people that are not working right now and it feels as though the world will never be right again.
Our country “America” has been through a lot of trials and tribulations:
- 1906 Yellow Fever
- 1916 Polio
- 1917 Spanish Flu
- 1949 Polio
- 1957 Asian Flu
- 2007 HIV
- 2009 Swine Flu
We have also survived:
- WW I
- Korean War
- Vietnam War
- Gulf War
- Afghanistan War
History tells us that with each of these we have learned from the past the things we need to do to survive the ones in the future. We are now even better prepared to survive this latest trial.
We who own horses probably understand the quartine aspect of a disease outbreak better than most. I know in my lifetime, there have been many outbreaks of equine infections that I have gone through.
We need to treat this latest pandemic the same way we would if it were an outbreak of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in horses. All of the quarantine procedures that we have used with our horses need to be applied to all of us humans.
So most of us are staying home on our properties and when we do go out we are all staying six feet away from each other. We did this same thing during an equine quarantine. We kept our horses apart so they could not touch noses or snort on each other. If they snorted on us, we did not enter another horse stall without wiping ourselves down or changing shirts (hand sanitizer). We did not let our horses eat or drink out of the same buckets.
During dryland distemper, we never walked from one pen to another without first stepping in a pan of bleach. So, disinfecting out hands and what we touch is no different.
So what can we do with ourselves to keep us active with our four-legged friends?
First of all, it is shedding time for our horses, so we can get a lot of upper body conditioning while we help our horses shed. When your done brushing, you can move onto the mane and tails, which after all the rain and mud can use a good shampoo, conditioning and comb out. Think how soft your hands will be after working the conditioner in!
Now, for some lower body work out, you can pick the caked-in mud out of your horses’ hooves. With my five horses, that means twenty hooves which add up to a lot of back and leg stretching!
When your equine friend is all clean you can take him for a ride or walk around your property. For me, that is five times around my property, which is probably a total of one and three-quarter miles since I am on five acres!
By the time you have done all that, think how relaxed you will be! With all of the tension in the world around us, being relaxed is a good way to keep from becoming one of the statistical numbers.
If you are boarding your horse, then you will need to try and walk your horses away from any other humans that are also trying to do the same thing.
Take A Walk!
If you can walk your horse down a road outside of the boarding facility, you will probably meet fewer people. If you pass another human walking their horse, then put your horse between you and them, that will make up most of the six-foot safe zone.
If you get stressed about the whole situation, then just take a seat in your horses’ stall. The saying by Winston Churchill, “There is nothing better for the inside of a man than the outside of a horse” is something to consider right now.
So, sit there and say nothing, sit there and have a good cry (no one is judging) sit there and just talk to your horse or just hug him!
I know from experience that during hard times in one’s life, having a horse as a friend has helped me many times. My miniature horse Snoopy, has helped many kids and elderly feel better about life in general.
If you get ambitious, take your whole family out to the barn and make it a family affair, you will all feel better!