Preparing Seniors for Horse Sitters

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I love to travel and take exciting vacations. I love seeing new places, experiencing new things, and tasting new cuisine. The problem? I hate leaving my horses behindÉespecially the aging ones. But my job involves traveling to conventions across the country, so I’ve gotten used to leaving Dorado in capable hands while I’m away. This is good news, since I’ll be taking an exciting trip next weekÑmy honeymoon!

The first trip I had to take while leaving Dorado in the hands of his caretakers at his boarding barn was horribleÉI worried about him all day, every day. And while I still hate leaving him behind, each subsequent trip has been easier because I keep coming back to a happy and healthy horseÑwith the exception of the trip I took when he was on stall rest last year; that was not a fun trip. Anyway, I now have a routine down pat that I use to prepare to leave him in someone else’s care. Here are some steps that IÑand my parentsÑtake when we’re preparing to leave our senior horses in someone else’s care, with some extra tips from The Horse regular contributor Dr. Stacey Oke (DVM, MSc).

I always ensure my horse’s “guardian” has access to all of my horse’s emergency contactsÑsuch as the veterinarian, farrier, and other professionalsÑby leaving their information on a stall card like this one

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Erica Larson, former news editor for The Horse, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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