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Emergency Planning With Horses
 By Winniefield Park   •   12th May 2014   •   1,436 views   •   0 comments
Emergency Planning With Horses

So far, this year, Mother Nature has dealt us some interesting weather challenges. 2014 started out with extreme cold and blizzards, and already, tornadoes are touching down and floods are forcing people to flee their homes. Itís bad enough when you have to evacuate or protect yourself, but as horse (and pet) owners, we want to do the same for our animals.

Take stock of what disasters are possible in your area. Are you on a floodplain, in tornado alley or is it possible ice storms or blizzards can leave you stranded? Take steps to make sure you and your animals have a way to get food and water. Ideally, for horses, you should have about two weeks worth of feed, including hay on hand at all times. Consider how your horse will get water if there is no electricity to run a water pump.

Related: Getting Through My First Hurricane As A Horse Owner
Related: Preparing Your Horse and Barn For A Hurricane

Itís really important for your horse to get on a trailer quietly. Many people donít worry about this, because they figure their horses won't go off of the property. However, an emergency, from the weather, fire, flood or an injury or illness might mean a trailer ride for your horse. Having a horse that loads easily will help reduce the stress of an already tense situation. If you donít have a horse trailer, consider how you will move your horse if the need arises and where you will go.

Make sure you have a clear description of your horse in case you are separated. Have Coggin's tests, registration papers in one spot. Halter tags, stock markers or leg bands are easy ways of recording your name, phone number and address, so they are on the horse.

If your horse needs special medications, be sure to keep a good record of them, and a supply on hand. You should also have a well-stocked equine first-aid kit. The number of your veterinarian should be easy to find, if you donít already have them on speed dial. Fire, ambulance and police numbers should be displayed in an obvious place.

If an emergency situation is imminent, you might want to keep your horse close to the barn, with halters and lead ropes at the ready. Basic organization and tidiness, such as knowing where all tack is and safely storing equipment is handy for everyday and may be essential during an emergency. One thing that could be difficult to decide is whether to keep your horse stabled or outdoors during severe weather. There are pros and cons to doing either, and you will have to assess the situation to determine what is best.

Write down a plan. Creating a Ďstandard operating procedureí for yourself can be helpful since you may not be thinking clearly in an emergency as youíd like. A written plan can help you make decisions much more easily when things are stressful.

Have you dealt with an emergency like flood, fire, tornado or other situation?
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