Over recent weeks, we’ve had a few boarders inquire about our biosecurity measures here at Cottonwood. This is an issue that comes up repeatedly in the horse world regarding infectious equine illnesses, most recently because of regional reports of the Coronavirus and equine herpes (EHV-1) earlier this year.

So we thought we’d write a blog about our approach (we also mentioned this in a recent newsletter).

Keeping our horses safe and healthy is our number one priority. While biosecurity is a hot topic in the horse community right now, it is nothing new to us. You may recall that back in 2014, we had zero cases of vesicular stomatitis while neighbors to the north and east of us had several cases.

That was a disappointing time for many because for a while, we had to prohibit horses from leaving and coming to the property for shows, trail riding, etc. But to us, it’s always worth being safe, rather than sorry.

Running a horse barn, especially one as big and busy as ours, requires constant awareness and proactivity around these things. It comes in handy that we’ve been in business here in Littleton for more than 30 years, so we’ve developed highly effective procedures and protocols for handling horse barn biosecurity—even when nothing’s “going around.”

Here are just a few of the steps we take to keep our community healthy:

  1. The owner of any new horse coming into our community must produce a Health Certificate (official documentation that upon examination, the horse presented to a licensed veterinarian in good health) and a current negative Coggins test (the test for Equine Infectious Anemia).
  2. A specific worming and vaccination program is in place (and enforced) for all horses.
  3. Sick horses are routinely isolated from the community. While this currently takes place in one of the round pens, we plan to build a small isolation building! Any equipment used on the sick horse is disinfected.
  4. Stalls that have housed sick and contagious horses are cleaned and disinfected with agents known to kill the contagion.

This is just a broad overview of our protocols. We always follow the directions of our veterinarians when dealing with specific illnesses.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call or stop by the office. We’d be happy to chat with you!