Are you Ready for Hurricane Season?
How do you prepare your horse for a storm?
Hurricane season can be a worry for any equestrian. It is vital that horse owners are prepared for the worst and plan ahead. This will ensure the best possible outcome for you and your horse. We have pulled together our top tips on how to prepare prior to the storm and what you should do in order to withstand the storm.
Prior to the storm:
Ensure all water tubs are clean and full. Power outages can mean no access to fresh water, so it is best to ensure everything is filled & extra is available ahead of time.
Ensure you are well stocked up of medication, first aid and extra food/bedding. Always load up on grain, meds, shavings, etc. in advance of storms, so that if roads aren't clear or supply trucks are late, your horse won’t be stuck without feed or meds. If your horse is injured, and a vet cannot get out to you, it is important to ensure that you have everything you may need to treat injuries & stress. Always keep a full first aid box in the barn and in the trailer, to ensure if you need to move your horse, all of your supplies will already be packed.
Make sure all debris is removed. Any loose debris, branches or rubbish could cause a potential hazard when blown in the wind. Such as a branch taking down a power line or damaging the barn.
Have ample supplies of flashlights and batteries. Trying to locate your horse, as well as important supplies if the lighting has been affected by a storm, may be difficult without additional light sources.
Vaccination visit. Veterinarians recommend horses have a tetanus, West Nile virus and Eastern / Western Encephalitis vaccinations at the beginning of hurricane season as well. If you needed to evacuate your horse prior to the storm, they also need a negative Coggins test (EIA) to cross state lines or to board at any evacuation center or private farm.
Surviving the storm:
Use a breakaway halter on your horse. It is best to ensure that your horse is wearing a breakaway halter in case your horse gets caught on anything. It is a good idea to add your contact number onto the halter, but this should not be the only way of identifying your horse in case the halter is removed. It may be possible to braid waterproof luggage tags into manes with contact details, so even if tack is separated, the owner can still be identified.
Ensure your horse has a microchip or brand. If temporary identification does not withhold the storm, it is important that your horse can still be identified in order to locate the owner.
Use reflective turnout blankets. The WeatherBeeta Plus Dynamic, Premier and Ultra turnout blankets all feature reflective strips or gussets, to ensure your horse can be easily spotted in poor visibility, particularly if they get out onto a road.