Since I’ve just been through Harvey, for all my Florida followers – here are some tips.
– NO HALTERS. I don’t care if it’s a breakaway, just leave them off.
– NO STALLS. Your horses are safer out. They may get some cuts and scrapes, but that’s easier to fix than a drowned horse.
– Cattle tags can be braided into the mane and tail, and can hold a lot of info, including a phone number and your name. They’re also waterproof if you write in permanent marker. Livestock paint and numbers on the hooves WILL wash off. Luggage tags will get wet. Your best bet is either cattle tags or dog tags braided into manes AND tails, and if you’re having trouble, you can use rubber bands to secure them.
– If you have to evacuate quickly, you can fit more horses in a trailer if you pack them nose to tail and take out the dividers of your trailer. A stock type trailer will fit more. It’s not ideal, but emergencies call for desperate measures.
– If you don’t need to evacuate, remember not to blanket your horses. They’re going to be shivering. They will be wet. Let them be. A blanket, even a waterproof one, will not hold up in this kind of storm and will ultimately make them colder. By the time they’re shivering they will be too wet to dry off. Plus, it will most likely be around 60-70 degrees which is too warm to blanket. If you cover them they will sweat and make themselves sick.
-HAY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN FEED. Make sure your horses are well stocked on forage before the storm, because it might be too dangerous for you to get out and feed them. A few days without feed will not hurt them – a few days without forage will.
-Make sure your troughs are full or close to full before the storm. Waterlines may break and you want to be sure your animals will have water for a few days.
That’s all I can think of right now, but please stay safe. Also feel free to add to this list.
We also had back up stockpiles of dehydrated hay, forage cubes and beet pulp which was an absolute savior when we were flooded in without road access for two days with 30 horses
– Minis can be put in a vehicle. Don’t put a mini in the trailer unless you know they can’t get under the other horses. You’ll have better luck shoving them in the cab of your pickup or the back of your SUV if you have to evacuate.
-If there’s a possibility your trailer could be hard to get out, have it sitting hooked up and ready to go at the front of your driveway. It’s easier to get horses to a trailer than a trailer to horses.
Reblogging to save anyone else in the VA/NC/SC area from owner panic this week.
Also, may be a bit late for this hurricane but for ALL pets – Microchip! Get one, register it, and keep your contact info on it up to date! It’s essential for dogs and cats, especially if you are evacuating. If your pet gets loose at a rest stop or where you are staying, it’s another tool that greatly increases getting your pet back safe! I am pretty sure microchipping for horses exists as race horses are adopting this identification method along with lip tattoos, but I have no idea how available it is outside the racing industry.