With the upcoming storm, I figured a "How to Hurricane Prep the Horse" would be a great idea. We have been through several hurricanes here and unfortunately (fortunately?) have this prep thing down. I have almost gone to the RRP TB Makeover with my phone number spray painted on the horse. Looks like we may be heading that way again!
1. Outside!! - All of our horses stay outside during storms. Due to the wind possibilities, barns are not the best structures for the horses to hang out in unless it is a concrete, hurricane proof barn. With the horses being outside they can freely move away from any debris that is out and about. It is 100% ideal? No. But it is better than a barn roof collapsing. I would rather search 30 miles for my horses then know they are under the collapsed barn.
2. Halters and Fly Masks- All horses are turned out in breakaway halters. I turn them out in them for two reasons. One, it is an extra way to add contact information. Second, in the event they get loose, it is much easier to catch them. Breakaway halters can get caught on stuff too, but I know they will break. They are also turned out in fly masks to protect eyes from debris. (I'm talking to you Bruce!!)
3. Phone Numbers On Body - This is how we ended up with a phone number on the body at the makeover, almost.. Last few times we have used spray paint or the magnum sharpie markers. The goal of this is to make your phone number as visible as possible on the horses sides. Huge thanks to amazon prime, we bought this livestock marker this time around. The makeover is earlier this year so not enough body clipping time! Hopefully this works, or I am back to fluorescent spray paint!
4. Feet Phone Numbers - In the event that both your halter and your body paint have disappeared, we also write contact information on all four feet. So every horse has a sharpied on phone number as an added contact info. It is all about making sure you can identify your horses!
5. Tags - We also have tags that we braid tightly in to the mane with contact information and address of where the horses live. Make sure they are braided tightly. We have used ones where we bought tags at staples, you can buy the dog tags at Walmart with your info, or you can write on cards and laminate it. We are doing brightly colored laminated cards this year to add the horses names.
If your horses are microchipped, make sure you have access to the numbers. Bruce, Gray, and Bosa are microchipped and I still have to do the rest of mine. Make sure you have pictures of your horses. Both sides, front, and make sure any small markings (Like EZ's cannon bone scarring) are visible. In the event that lots of horses get loose, this makes it much easier to identify. Stock up on water troughs etc. Fill buckets, extra containers to make sure you have enough water. Lay all the jumps down. I already have a call in to my vet for health certificates on the chance we end up evacuating. While you may be able to bypass Agricultural Check on the way out, it doesn't mean you won't hit it on the way back in.
While all of these are great tips. Most of all, use your judgement. Stay safe. Have extra grain and hay. Just be prepared!