The Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak is now impacting our day-to-day lives more than ever. Self-isolation is swiftly becoming commonplace and social distancing is now compulsory. The current guidance, at the time of writing, is: stay at home and if you have been in close contact with someone with Coronavirus or you have any of the symptoms detailed on the NHS website you should self-isolate.

Self-isolation is a challenge for most people but if you’re a horse owner, with one or maybe even several horses to care for, you will have a range of extra things to think about too. We’ve summarised some of the key things you could do below.

Are you still allowed to ride your horse?

At the time of writing, you’re still allowed out of the house to exercise once a day. The Government has not yet specified types of activities and therefore does not seem to have precluded horse riding. However, the situation is constantly changing so please closely monitor news and speak to your yard to keep updated.

If you are riding at this time please do bear in mind the risks associated with our sport as any injuries caused through riding could put the NHS under additional unnecessary pressure.

Speak to your yard owner regularly

As the situation continues to develop it makes sense to regularly call your yard owner and fellow liveries to find out any updates to how things are operating.

Make sure that they are aware if you’re having to completely self-isolate and not likely to be visiting the yard until further notice. If you are lucky, someone at the yard may be in a position to look after your horse for the duration of your isolation.

Whatever the situation, communicating with other people at the yard and keeping them updated is key.

Help each other

If you haven’t already, it may be worth agreeing a rota for who can care for the horses of fellow owners, should any of you be unable to leave the house completely. This will need to be flexible as more than one person could end up isolating at the same time.

You may have some key workers at your yard. If you’re able to, please step in to help them - they’ll likely need your help more than ever right now.

Get supplies delivered

Given the current advice, it’s likely many places you rely on for supplies may now be closed. However, many horse feed shops offer a delivery service too. When ordering, be sure to leave clear instructions for where the feed should to be left. If possible, try to coordinate a big delivery for the yard to reduce the amount of deliveries needed.

Make use of the time

Social distancing should provide you with more free time, something that is generally lacking for busy horse owners. If possible, take the opportunity to organise things you don’t normally get the chance to do: take your tack home to give it a really good clean; plan your competition schedule for later in the year in detail; sort out all those lovely horse photos; and review your equine paperwork, for example, your horse insurance policies, vaccinations, horsebox or trailer service and society registrations.

Keep up to date

It’s important to keep up to date with what’s going on, for us, this means keeping an eye on key equestrian associations, equestrian news websites and social media accounts. Some useful websites to visit regularly include:

About SEIB

SEIB have been providing insurance for horses for over 50 years. This experience allows us to tailor policies to suit your circumstances and ensure that you and your horses are covered should the worst happen. If you’d like advice on your insurance please call us on 01708 850000.