Barn Hygiene




Volunteers for Front Range Exceptional Equestrians need to recognize the importance of proper hygiene in and around an equine facility. The measures listed here are for the prevention of all types of communicable diseases. We hope you will read this carefully and follow the plan we have put in place for our horses’ health and safety.  These guidelines are especially important for those of you who are active in more than one barn.  


Disease Transmission Overview

Listed below are five main routes of disease transmission in horses, their causes and ways to prevent them:

  1. Aerosol – Insufficient ventilation in a barn combined with horses stabled in close proximity to one another means that germs pass through nasal cavities.  Prevention:  Adequate ventilation within the facility.
  2. Oral – Contaminated food and/or surfaces that horses eat or lick.  Prevention:  control the quality of feed & hay.  Keep water troughs/automatic waterers clean.  Test water supply for contamination.  
  3. Direct Contact – As the name implies, this involves direct transmission of the germ from one animal to another either through open wounds, blood, biting, saliva or mucous membranes.  Prevention:  Isolating sick horses.

     4.   Vector – Transmission of a pathogen between two animals through an insect.  (Flies, ticks, mosquitoes are      

common vectors.)  Prevention:  Insecticides and vaccines.

     5.    Fomite– This is the transmission of germs from an inanimate object to the horse.  This can be from common

objects around the barn such as brushes, pitchforks, halters, tack, etc.  Contaminated vehicles are also

considered fomites.  Dirt from a contaminated facility on the wheels of a vehicle can also transport the pathogen.  

Humans can also serve as fomites.  Germs can be easily transported on contaminated clothing and skin from one

barn to another.  Prevention:   See below


As a community of staff, volunteers, parents and riders, we are all responsible for controlling the human fomite transmission of disease.  There are a few simple things we all can do to prevent the spread of illness.  The number one rule for disease control is cleaning.  Clean clothing, clean hands, clean shoes/boots, clean barns.


Clothing:

Dedicated boots/shoes and clothing for use only at a specific facility (CSU Equine Center, Town & Country Stable, Legacy Stable, or your own facility)


Handwashing:

WASH YOUR HANDS!! Just as washing hands helps to reduce the spread of illness among humans, the same holds true for horse germs passed through human contact.  We ask that anyone who enters a facility wash their hands, including fingernails, as well as skin underneath rings.  Please wash your hands using an anti-microbial product.  It is recommended that you allow the sanitizer to dry on your hands for 15 seconds to benefit fully from the anti-microbial properties.


The few added moments you dedicate to these guidelines will help to keep our horses healthy!  Thank you for your help!


Front Range

Exceptional Equestrians