Summer is almost here and that means you may need to know how to prepare for vacation and leave your horse safely behind as you are making your plans for summer vacation! Many horse owners start to feel anxious at the thought of leaving on vacation and leaving their most prized possession, their horse, in the care of someone else while they are gone. Though this is understandable, with proper preparation you will be able to enjoy that trip just a bit more!
Here is a checklist for you to complete before heading out of town to help ease the mental anguish!
- Find Someone You Trust! Trusting the person that you leave to take care of your horses is probably the number one way to help you to relax and enjoy your vacation. Someone who knows horses and will recognize if there is a health issue going on. Someone that will spend a little time with the horses and not just throw the hay and set down the bucket of grain and leave. If they will give you a quick call or text and send you a quick photo, that is all the better.
- Alway Leave Detailed Written Instructions. Instructions for both feeding, stalling and turn out, in detail. Have a hard copy at the barn for reference and also send in an email or text for the person to have on their phone. Also have the person come by a day or two before you leave and go through the process with them.
- Leave A Written Consent Form. Make sure you leave a written consent form allowing this person to make medical decisions should your horse need to be seen by a Veterinarian while you are away. You can also give your Vet a call to let them know that you will be out of town.
- Check The Weather Forecast. Depending on the weather your horses may need to be put up in a barn, blanketed, extra oats if the weather is going to be very cold. Know what weather is predicted so you can go over that with the caretaker.
- Get Out And Check Fencing, Gates….. Take the time to get out and walk pasture fencing, paddocks, gates, hot wire, etc…. Leave knowing that your horses are safe and secure in their environment while you are gone.
- Do All You Can To Make This An Easy Job For Your Caretaker. Prepare grain feedings, supplements, hay, etc…. ahead of time and have it labeled so that feeding goes off without a hitch. If they will be cleaning stalls, make sure the manure wagon and rakes are nearby for easy access.
- Have Plenty Of Feed On Hand! The last thing you want to happen is have your horses run out of feed while you are gone. Make sure you have plenty of hay, grain and supplements on hand before jetting off.
These are just a few things to check off of your “to do list” so that you can get away and relax, knowing that your horses are safe at home, enjoying their vacation too!
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