Whatever the circumstances may be, it is important to plan ahead and have steps in place to ensure that you have pre-agreed with someone else that they will be able to care for your horse. Having written guidance prepared, that your buddy or yard manager can easily follow, will give them all the information they need to look after your horse and meet their specific welfare needs. You should add as much information as you can, to make sure that your horse’s routine is kept as close to normal as possible.
If moving to a new yard, providing the yard manager with a care and emergency plan for your horse is also really beneficial. This will ensure they have all necessary contact details and have a written plan outlining all aspects of your horse’s care.
Discuss the care plan
Fully talk through the care plan with your yard manager or buddy and provide them with a completed signed copy. Be sure to clearly communicate with your yard manager if you intend to seek the support from a buddy so there is no confusion. If this is the case, it is still advisable to provide your yard manager with a signed copy so they are fully aware of your horse’s care.
Share contact details
Ensure your yard manager has contact details for your nominated buddy. This is particularly important if they do not keep a horse on the yard, so are not as familiar with the set up.
Check your supplies
Have plenty of forage, feed and other provisions your horse may require.
Is any of your equipment locked away?
Ensure your buddy or yard manager has a spare key or knows the combination codes to locks.
Ensure your yard manager and/or buddy know what to do in the event of an emergency for your horse, along with your wishes related to emergency euthanasia.
Have your vet’s contact details clearly available. This is good routine practice to have in place if you are ever uncontactable and a serious decision needs to be made for your horse such as referral to an equine hospital for potential colic surgery.
Update your vet
Ask your veterinary practice to make a note about the name of your yard manager or buddy, so that they may take instructions from them if necessary.
Keep up to date
Regularly review your care plan and update where necessary, ensuring your yard manager and/or buddy are aware of any changes.