Like many other businesses, the horse industry has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Horse shows have been cancelled, horse businesses have had to rely on online ordering, equine nonprofits have seen a drop in donations and an increase in the need for their services and barns have struggled with allowing owners access to the barn while still complying with best practices, e.g. social distancing, to reduce the spread of this deadly virus. In addition, the distressing economic downturn and the increase in unemployment have caused many people to leave the horse industry altogether.
Now that winter is over and there is a chance of horse shows this summer, having a clean horse may have moved to the top of your “to do” list. A safe and functional wash bay is an essential element of any barn. It can be outside or inside, though of course most would prefer inside. Here are some ideas to consider when building or upgrading your wash area.
Whether you are building a new barn or renovating an old one, the best way to get the barn you want is to remember the old adage, “form follows function.” Before you start planning your barn, think about the following things:
It comes as no surprise that caring for horses is expensive – and one of the most expensive parts are visits from the veterinarians. Many people try to keep the cost of vet visits and services down by organizing “shot clinics” (all participants split the cost of the barn call cost) or even doing most of the vaccinations themselves. You can buy many of the vaccines online, but it may be more beneficial in the long run to pay the fees and let your vet vaccinate your horse.
Though in some parts of the country you may still be experiencing winter-like conditions, the calendar says Spring – warmer weather, sunnier skies….and the return of flies! There are a lot of commercial products that do an excellent job of eliminating flies in an stall or even the whole barn, but those usually contain Permethrin, a pyrethroid (synthetic) insecticide. Permethrin is highly toxic to cats and can kill them.