The coronavirus pandemic has changed our lives dramatically. Currently, we are all making serious efforts to stay safe and healthy until this difficult situation eventually comes to its end. Barn owners are faced with tough challenges to keep the virus off their barns, provide the horses with necessary care on a daily basis, and keep a sense of normalcy despite these circumstances. New practices are being implemented to protect all the essential workers from the virus. To help you overcome the current problems here is some useful advice on keeping your barn safe from coronavirus.

Restrict the access to your barn

One of the effective strategies to prevent the spreading of coronavirus at your barn is to restrict access to anyone who is not vital for the health and wellbeing of the animals at your equestrian property. As experts suggest, everyone should be perceived as a potential carrier of the virus. By decreasing the number of people present at your barn, you also significantly decrease the chances of spreading the virus among the staff. Healthy staff equals excellent care for the animals. Should the virus spread among the personnel, this could have serious consequences for the proper functioning of your barn.

The restricted access will keep visitors off your property, which they may not like initially. However, the health of the staff and the animals should always be the top priority. Knowing that genuine professionals are taking excellent care and catering to the needs of the horses will provide the boarders with the peace of mind they need so much at these difficult times.

Do not underestimate the importance of social distancing

As surprising as it may seem, keeping a six-foot distance with other people at the barn is far from being easily manageable. It is particularly difficult when taking horses past each other in a narrow aisleway, or when using a shared tack room. The above-mentioned restriction of the access to the barn helps with avoiding these problems to a certain extent, but you need to understand the importance of your personal responsibility and be aware that you are also an immensely important factor in keeping your barn safe from coronavirus. The sooner you realize how horse farms work during the COVID-19 pandemic, the sooner you will adapt and take the inevitable precautions.

One of the solutions you might want to apply includes using an online sign-up form to make sure there are never more than ten individuals at the barn at the same time. All of them should wear protective face masks while on the premises. Provide washing stations and hand sanitizers at the entrance to the premises. Until the coronavirus pandemic is over, limit all the activities at your equestrian property to only those that are essential for the animal health and welfare.

Clean and disinfect on a regular basis

As a barn owner, you certainly know that proper maintenance is compulsory. To your regular to-do list, now you need to add a few more points regarding cleaning and disinfection. Cleaning and disinfecting all those frequently used areas are time-consuming, demanding, impractical, but still crucial tasks. All those high-touch surfaces like entry gate keypads, door handles, arena gates, and faucets have to be cleaned and disinfected after each use. Only if all the people at your horse property accept their share of responsibility, can you achieve the impeccable cleanliness and disinfection these new circumstances require. This will bring the chances to get infected to a minimum.

Introduce some new facility biosecurity measures

Keeping your barn safe from coronavirus requires the introduction of some new facility biosecurity measures. Firstly, everyone entering the premises should wash their hands first and put on some clean clothes. The staff should touch and use only those pieces of equipment that are necessary for feeding, caring for, or facilitate exercise for horses. Shared use of equipment should be forbidden. If it cannot be avoided, these pieces of equipment should be cleaned and disinfected prior to and after each use. To avoid the transmission of the virus, when handling shared facilities, use rubber gloves, paper towels, wash your hands frequently, and apply hand sanitizers.

Make the individuals from high-risk groups stay at home

Some of the staff will have to stay at home until the COVID-19 outbreak is over. Those who belong to any of the defined high-risk groups should not enter the property in this period. Also, anyone with the symptoms of a running nose, coughing, sneezing, having short breath, a sore throat, or fever should be denied access to the premises. Remember that it is of key importance to take all the steps to protect the health of all the individuals on the premises and enable the smooth functioning at the barn despite the circumstances.

What to do if coronavirus is detected at your barn?

Even if you take all the necessary measures that should result in keeping your barn safe from coronavirus, it can still happen that some of your employees get infected. Hence, it is highly advisable to have a backup plan you can follow should something like this happen. Depending on the size of your barn, you might need the services of moving professionals, like those at, for example, to help you relocate the animals and some of the essential belongings to a new, bigger farm where these animals can be well taken care of.

If relocation is impossible, make sure you have a list of alternative workers at hand who possess the horsemanship skills and sound knowledge to orchestrate and conduct inevitable daily activities at your farm. Communicate with the veterinarians to know how to address emergencies or how to postpone them if possible.

Final thoughts

Responding promptly and properly to the latest coronavirus pandemic has been an immense challenge for barn owners. Keeping your staff healthy is imperative and this can be achieved only by following the recommendations of the relevant institutions and organizations. Use this time efficiently to make some plans regarding the upcoming period. It might be possible to apply some new design tips for your dream horse barn in the near future and introduce some positive changes. Each obstacle is both a challenge and inspiration, so make sure you use most of it.

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