2938 Vet. Med. Basic Sciences Bldg.
2001 S. Lincoln Ave.
Urbana, Illinois 61802
By Kimberly Meenen
University of Illinois
College of Veterinary Medicine
Boarding your horse may also mean exposing it to a wide variety of health hazards. When choosing a boarding stable, a careful study of the available stables and their methods of operation can result in a healthier horse. And to a horse owner, a healthy horse means more time spent enjoying the horse rather than being forced into repeated lapses due to disease
The following checklist, provided by Dr. R.D. Scoggins, equine Extension veterinarian at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine at Urbana, offers a good idea as to the health care you can expect from a boarding stable. Although you may not find a stable that meets all the requirements, the following checklist should help you decide which stable will be the best environment for your horse.
1. Do knowledgeable personnel own and operate the stable
in a professional manner?
2. Does the stable have a veterinarian available in case of an emergency?
3. Are horse owners required to sign a release giving the stable permission to summon a veterinarian in case of sickness or injury?
4. Does the stable require regular immunizations by all boarders?
5. Is an isolation area provided for new animals?
6. Is an annual negative Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) test required and a recent one needed for new arrivals?
7. Are all owners required to deworm their horses (at least four times annually)?
8. Are barn rules posted to encourage health and safety, and are they enforced?
9. Is regular hoof care a requirement?
10. Are stalls, aisles, and paddocks well maintained and free of litter and protrusions which could injure a horse?
11. Are paddock fences and gates as horse proof as possible?
12. Are adequate and realistic safety rules posted and strictly enforced?
13. Is a regular feeding schedule maintained and do other horses appear to be in satisfactory condition?
14. Are stalls cleaned and bedded regularly and manure properly disposed of to reduce the fly population?
15. Is there evidence that excessive rats or other vermin (including birds) have access to feed supplies?
16. Are horses checked between chore hours or monitored in some way?
17. Are regular hours listed and followed?
Some of these items may seem picky at first, but they quickly
become important when one of them is overlooked and a tragedy
results. Granted, these services will cost more than turning a
horse out in a barbed wire pasture with 20 other horses, but the
results will be much more rewarding. By carefully choosing a boarding
stable, your horse will be healthier and as a result will provide
you with more enjoyment.