What is coronitis in horses

Coronavirus: What do you have to consider as a horse owner and rider?

Status: December 11th, 2020

The spread of the coronavirus CoVid-19 affects all of Germany. This time is mainly characterized by uncertainty and fears. The federal government has already taken important safety precautions with regard to public life.

Sports and leisure facilities across Germany have been closed since November 2nd. Riding clubs and equestrian facilities are also included and have to restrict activities in order to slow down the spread of CoVid-19.

We would like to answer some important questions for you as horse owners and riders:

1. What does the closure of the sports facilities because of the CoVid-19 mean for me as a horse owner?

The well-being of the horses and the health of people have top priority in times of the coronavirus. Sports facilities for leisure and amateur sports have been closed since November 2nd, but exceptions are provided for individual sports. Unlike the first lockdown in March, this does not mean, according to the FN, that equestrian facilities have to be completely closed.

Riding stables and riding facilities will be considered separately in the course of the closure of all sports facilities, as in March: The well-being and health of the horses must not suffer from safety measures to contain CoVid-19.

As a horse owner or persons you have appointed, you can continue to care for and move your four-legged friend on the riding facility, for example horse riding. In the course of this, the German Equestrian Association is in close contact with the authorities to determine regulations in the riding stable or club.


Visiting the stables during Corona times: you should pay attention to this!

When visiting the stable, it is essential to pay attention to hygiene in order to protect other members of the stable community from being infected with CoVid-19. Wash your hands thoroughly after entering the stable. Wearing gloves when using communal objects such as wheelbarrows, lunging whips, etc., protects you and your stable friends. The safety distance of 1.5 m should be observed when visiting the barn. If this distance cannot be maintained in certain rooms, then wearing a mask is recommended. Whether a mask requirement is compulsory in certain areas of the riding stable depends on the order of the stable operator

In order to keep the number of people in the riding stable as low as possible, horse owners and persons commissioned by the owner to look after the horse are allowed to enter the stable. Minors should always be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
You should also keep a safe distance when riding in the hall. According to the FN, a maximum of four horse-rider pairs should stay in a 20m x 40m riding hall.

According to the FN, horse movement on a square or in a hall requires competent supervision, which should ideally be carried out by a trainer / riding instructor. Whether riding lessons are allowed depends individually on the federal state in which the riding stable is located. You can find detailed information on the respective federal state on the website of the German Equestrian Association. Find out about the individual regulations of your state.


2. What safety precautions should I take for myself and my horse now?

When dealing with horses and also with regard to the current situation, it is important to remain calm. As a horse owner, you should draw up an emergency care plan in order to arrange your own home quarantine.

Talk to other stable members and make sure that your horse can be looked after and moved by your stable friends if necessary. In these uncertain times, mutual support is important and necessary.

It is advisable to compile a list with all important contact details (veterinarian, blacksmith, etc.) and data on the horse (special features in handling, riding and lunging) and send it to your stable colleagues and the stable operator.

Make sure that the necessary medication and individual feed for your horse is available in the stable for 2 weeks and that other stable members can access them.

3. Can my horse get infected with CoVid-19?

The novel coronavirus CoVid-19 may have been transmitted from bats to humans based on previous studies by the Friedrich Löffler Institute. There is currently no evidence that the horse can become infected with CoVid-19 or that it is a possible carrier.

According to the current status, you do not have to worry that you will infect your horse with CoVid-19 or that your horse will transmit the virus to other people or animals.

Despite everything, it is advisable to observe basic hygiene measures when handling your horse.

The coronavirus CoVid-19 is currently being researched. That is why you should keep yourself informed about current developments in research.

4. Can a veterinarian visit the stable and treat my horse in an emergency?

Veterinarians are allowed to enter stables for treatment in emergencies and also for routine examinations. When visiting the vet, make sure that you keep a safety distance of 1.5m to 2.0m here as well in order to protect yourself and the treating doctor from infection with COVID-19.


5. Horse shows in times of the coronavirus

Equestrian tournaments and events in amateur and recreational sports have also been banned from taking place in Germany since November 2nd to protect and contain the corona virus. Currently there are no forecasts when horse shows and events may take place again.

You will be automatically informed about the cancellation of a tournament you have named by the online entry system. According to the FN, entry fees that have already been paid will be returned to you. According to the FN, the organizers can withhold 3 euros per reserved starting place for tournaments that have been canceled due to the coronavirus due to force majeure. Only the fees for the entry online remain with the FN.


6. Quarantine and curfew: When can I go into the stable with my horse?

There is currently nothing to suggest that a curfew will be imposed in Germany. Nevertheless, it happens again and again that people who have had contact with a person who tested positive for Corona have to go into quarantine at home. If you as the horse owner are in quarantine, you can no longer go to the stable with your horse. In this case, every horse owner should have a plan B so that the horse can continue to be cared for and moved.

The care and well-being of the animal, such as the horse, also comes first in the event of a curfew. According to the Animal Welfare Association, animals have a special position in Germany. Accordingly, the fulfillment of the basic needs, such as the care, maintenance and movement of the horse must be ensured.

Binding information and regulations will be announced by the responsible health department when a curfew is ordered. We will also keep you as a horse owner informed about current developments.


7. Can I continue to ride my horse?

According to current regulations, individual sport, which also includes equestrian sport, may only be practiced alone or in pairs, or with relatives of one's own home. So you can go out with your horse within these restrictions. For safety reasons, we recommend that you do not go horse riding all by yourself. However, other regulations may apply in regions or counties that have stricter exit restrictions.
If you are in doubt, you should contact the local authority for more detailed information on horse riding in your federal state or district / region.