I remember when the pandemic first started, I was a little scared to go riding. Even very recently one of my friends had asked me: can I get the coronavirus from my horse? So this week, I wanted to take a break from our usual riding tips to chat about Covid and riding. We’ll cover how it might impact riding for all of us, and I’ve included my tips on Barn & Human Etiquette to help out a little!
Thankfully, horseback riding is a contact-free sport (for the most part!) and so we can keep on riding! Yay!
Also, there has been 0 evidence to date of horse-human spread. As far as we can tell, horses cannot get Covid!
That being said, there are a few things that we should be mindful of around the barn, if we don’t want Covid and riding interacting badly.
Here’s a few things to keep in mind that may or may not apply to you depending on where you ride:
- As per usual, sanitize (or wash) hands before touching anything at the barn and then after riding as well.
- Avoid too many people in the barn when tacking/untacking. Usually you can set a maximum limit and stick to that. This might mean you have to tack up outside or cut down a little on the number of people per lesson. Depending on the size of your stable/barn, this is going to vary so use common sense and try and adhere to what would make sense for the 2 meter guideline.
- Set a limit of people in the tack room at a time. Again, depending on the size of the room, this is going to vary.
- Sanitize any commonly used equipment (grooming kits, fly spray, etc) or consider buying your own.
- Avoid sharing equipment when possible.
- Make sure you wipe down the toilet and sink between uses.
- If you have any cold or flu-like symptoms, stay home. Even if you’re not going to be near anyone, it’s still best to stay home and protect the rest of the stable as much as possible.
- (Optional) Use a mask when you’re tacking/untacking and grooming if you feel that people are nearby. Mask use doesn’t protect you, it protects others. So there isn’t much sense in wearing it when you’re actually riding unless you’re within that 2 meter radius of others – which you generally won’t be.
2020 has no doubt been the most stressful year of the century so far. We’re in very tough times and tempers can run high. We also can find ourselves being more judgmental than usual due to this, because of the stress.
We’re all (understandably) on high alert for our own safety, the safety of our families and friends and the safety of the public.
I just think it’s important to remember that we’re all still human and sometimes we do make mistakes.
Keep in mind that if others at the barn aren’t necessarily doing everything you think they should be, they’re likely not doing it on purpose. 9 times out of 10, people aren’t doing things to be irresponsible or spiteful. They probably just aren’t sure or don’t know.
Let’s all try to be kind to each other and reserve snap judgments since we truly are all in this together!
Have any specific questions about COVID and riding? Comment below and I’ll do my best to answer it for you! But as always, if you have any medical questions, either contact your vet or your doctor – I’m just a girl on the internet, and they’ll know a lot better than I do.
🐴 Happy riding 🐴