Weather conditions can sometimes be unpredictable and dangerous. As a horse owner, your job is to make sure you and your horse are prepared for safety during all situations. With the winter season quickly approaching, have you considered what to do with your horse in the event of a blizzard? Or what about the Summer and the potential of Hurricanes? No matter the natural disaster, you are in charge of making sure your companion is safe.
Keep Various Records of Your Horse
The most preventative step that can be taken year-round is keeping all records of your horse safe. Start with correctly identifying each horse with some sort of mark. This will make finding your horse easier in the event of an escape or separation. This can be done with several methods including tattoos, microchips, and photographs. You’ll also want to make sure you are keeping track of all your horse's medical records, identification papers and vet information in a safe, weatherproof envelope that can be taken with you easily in the event of an emergency. The last way you’ll want to keep tabs on your horse is by keeping different halters ready for your horse in different locations. These halters should have tags attached which include information such as your horse's name, your name, and all of your contact info as well as the information of any emergency contacts. Taking these steps will make sure that your horse is easily identifiable and returnable.
Plan for Evacuation
When it comes to a serious natural disaster, evacuation is the absolute safest option for you and your horse. Any situation that is hazardous for you, is equally as hazardous for your horse. Be sure to plan ahead and make arrangements for your horse to be trailered. To prepare your horse for this procedure, you’ll want to practice with your animal a few times loading and unloading into a trailer, so that when the time comes they do not resist or lash out in panic.
Another aspect to consider during an evacuation is what are your plans for when things start to calm down? Be sure to have a plan set for where you will take your horse to safety. Some options include another stable, a vet office, or a friends ranch, which all should be far away from the site of the emergency. You’ll want to have this plan ready and be able to put it into effect immediately. If you wait until the last minute to evacuate, safety officials might make you leave your companion behind.
If You Can’t Evacuate, Be Prepared
Weather conditions always vary and are hard to predict. There will be certain situations where you will not be able to evacuate to a safer location and will, therefore, have to prepare beforehand to make sure you and your horse(s) are safe as possible. This can be done by having back up plans ready for each type of natural disaster. Each weather condition will have different safety requirements for your horse. For example, in the event of a tornado warning, you’ll want to clear the pasture and barn of any hazardous tools. In the event of a flood, you’ll want to be sure to have plenty of clean, safe drinking water. Failing to do so will cause your horse to become dehydrated and drink the contaminated floodwater. The best thing you can do is write out a plan for each potential disaster before they happen so that you are prepared.
If you need help determining what to do, your local humane organizations, agricultural extension agent or local emergency management agency may be able to provide you with information about your area's disaster response plan. Once you have determined plans for each situation, you’ll want to alert your family, friends, and neighbors, in the event that something happens and you are unable to put the plan into effect.
Another aspect to consider when preparing for the storm is your horse's past and the current conditions. What are their anxiety levels? How did they act in the past during a big storm? Is the barn sturdy enough to withstand harsh conditions? How severe is the storm predicted to be? These are all factors that need to be looked at when determining a plan for you and your horse as these may dictate your plans.
Calm your Horse with Supplements
Another option to ready your horse for the storm is to provide them with calming supplements. Our Happ-E-Mare is the perfect anecdote to calm your horse's storm anxieties! Happ-E-Mare is a tasty, all-natural blend to keep your mare calm and relaxed. Certified free of herbicides, pesticides, lead, drugs, toxins. Certified free of Salmonella, Listeria, E. Coli, this supplement promotes calmness and improved moods and is safe to use on geldings as well!
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