It has been a scary week in our horse world. Everyone is aware by now that there is an outbreak of EHV-1, a potentially deadly virus. Get educated and understand bio-secure recommendations. Use the internet to its full and best potential by getting the actual facts as given by actual professionals, like veterinary colleges or state authorities (Colorado Department of Agriculture) or the most recent USDA report.
Disclaimer: I am more than an interested party -I own five horses and a donkey. I work professionally in the horse world as well, so this is personal. The health and well being of horses is always my first concern, sometimes to my professional detriment. My clients all hear me say it, “You might write the check, but I work for your horse.”
My heart is impacted. My income is impacted. My intellect is wading through my emotions.
Having said that, can we please all take a breath? When we hear whisper of the word ‘neurological’ related to a horse in any way it is hard to not seize up with panic. But every runaway begins one step at a time.
We are riders. When things start to come apart, we are taught to slow down and breathe. Remember the basics of horsemanship:
-Take a deep seat and a far-away look.
-Horses like a confident, calm rider.
-Rules benefit all of us.
-Worry about your own horse and stop judging everybody else.
-Prepare for the worst case scenario, then smile and work for the best outcome.
(It isn’t bad advice for wayward Hollywood stars in the news either.)
We can’t know how things will continue to evolve with the EHV-1 situation but riders can control how we respond to the fear.
“Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.” -Og Mandino
While we all practice bio-security around the barn, we could take a cue from our horses and stay calm. No spurs are needed. Our response to this dangerous outbreak shouldn’t turn into a runaway of another kind.
My heart goes out to my extended horse family who have lost horses- so sorry. For those fighting this virus in their home barns- no quarantine will stop my best wishes for you and your horses. We will all find our way through this. Get well, ride with us again soon.
Anna Blake, Infinity Farm.
(Photo: Calm in a dangerous world.)