Strange times are these in which we live - or so Plato said. And it does not seem like coronavirus will be leaving any time soon, unfortunately. So, here are some tips and tricks to safely navigate the barn so that you can at least keep horses as a constant in your life during this era.

Shop Stable Safety

18 Hands Apart

18 hands horse

Yes, we have all heard this - but the best way to avoid contracting COVID-19 is by social distancing. At a barn, that is easy to do, if not so much fun. However, channeling your resting mare face could keep you safe - avoid hanging out in aisles, space out if multiple people are utilizing cross ties, limit the number of people in the tack room, and wave hello from a distance.

Keep Clean

This is a multi-faceted point. We all know to wash our hands for 20 seconds with soap and water, or, if your barn does not have a sink or wash stall, keep hand sanitizer in your tack trunk and car and use it icon

If your barn has a bathroom, it is important to keep it tidy, especially since the virus can be shed in the GI tract - making the restroom an ideal place for it to spread. Wipe down the toilet, handle, sink, doorknob, and light switches regularly, and, of course, wash your hands.

Lysol and bleach will become your new best friends at home and in the barn. In addition to the bathroom, communal areas need attention too. Think tack room door handles, cross tie snaps, stall door latches, light switches. They should be regularly cleaned, because if dozens of fellow boarders touch them, and you touch your face, it is easy to end up with someone else's virus.

Most barns are taking steps to take care of cleanliness, but if everyone chips in, it will lighten the load. Who would have thought we would be traveling with and using so many antibacterial products?

Disinfect Daily

  • Buckets, hoses
  • Tack, halters, lead ropes
  • Grooming supplies
  • Shovels, wheelbarrows
  • Door and stall handles, lightswitches

Get Gloves

If you do not already, you may want to start riding in gloves - they can add a layer of protection. If you do, try putting them on earlier to stay even safer. Just do not touch your face with them on, and wash or clean them regularly, per the manufacturer's directions.


Use Your Own Stuff

Most barns are like families - everyone shares and thinks nothing of borrowing or lending to help one another. However, this practice may be best avoided in the present climate. Avoid communal items and products - use your own brushes, tack, crops, helmets, boots, and cleaning supplies, and clean and disinfect them regularly!

responsible icon

Be Responsible

If you feel sick, stay home. If you have been in contact with someone who is sick, stay home. We all know the barn is our happy place but risking the health of our other barn mates for our own personal pleasure is not okay. Also, now would be a good time to avoid petting other people's horses, or handling them, unless explicitly instructed to.

Safely Stable

As you can see, with careful planning, common sense, and courtesy, we can keep horses in our lives (and a little bit of sanity!) throughout COVID-19! Stay safe!

  • Published:
  • Updated: 8/13/2020: 10:24:13 AM ET
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