By this time, we know everybody is getting bored and anxious but let us reassure you all the horses are being well cared for, are doing fine and many enjoying this time off. So far, we have been very fortunate that nobody in our community has gotten ill, thankfully! And this must remain as a top priority going forward. As it would be a grave reality check if this were to change.
All the horses are being observed—eyes on– every day. Going forward, we will do a hands-on check of every horse every other day-feet, skin, general condition and so on.
Some have asked for additional ‘ala carte’ services too. We will institute a program of affordable selections that you can choose from. To schedule or add any thing else you specifically wish, connect with Steph.
$10— grooming session
We do know that dealing with the impact of Covid 19 has affected all of us financially. At the farm, we are certainly experiencing it with the loss of revenue with lessons, activities and competitions. If anyone has a financial concern about their boarding account, please contact Gretchen and Robert via G’s email and we will discuss further.
Who knows how much longer this current lifestyle will go on. Please know that we remain concerned and committed to easing everyones assurance about their horses.
Gretchen, Robert, Steph, Rob, Travis, Colleen, Melanie and Gayle
March 24……Good evening,
As many of you have probably seen, there has been a directive by the Maryland Department of Agriculture on what is considered essential vs nonessential in regards to Maryland’s boarding facilities. We reached out directly to get a further explanation, and have been told that all barns are closed to boarders unless they are doing full self care—from MHIB President Ross Peddicord…
The intent of the statement we put out today is that Recreational riding centers which includes full board facilities are non essential and are to be closed to the public. Only self care boarders are essential since those folks need to care for their horses.
Boarders who come to a full care facility are jeopardizing your health & the health of your employees. However, its your call and your liability whether you want to let them on your property, especially if they should get Covid or you and/or your employees become infected. The overriding principle is the Gov’s directive to stay home.
Additionally, we just received this from the Maryland Horse Council which is to be sent tomorrow:
We understand that there has been some confusion about the intent and effect of the MDA message issued on March 24. In consultation with MDA it is clear the Governor wants everyone to stay at home. Unless your horse relies on only you for survival, e.g., food, water and shelter, you are not essential. This means no visiting/grooming//riding/lungeing, etc. your horse if it is boarded somewhere other than your own property. Many of the boarding barns are embracing this guidance because it helps ensure that the people who are, in fact, responsible for your horse’s food, water and shelter stay healthy.
Unfortunately this means, effective immediately, the barn is closed to the ‘public’. Only staff and our assistant barn staff—Sunny, Abby and Meg—will be on site.
If your horse is in the hayfield you could make a case for your horse being on self care. This was further described in what Ross shared above. To us, this is a very slippery slope and challenging the directive from MDA. Hayfield boarders, if you insist on coming out to take care of your horse, contact Steph to discuss day, time and care. Your visit will be BRIEF— time needed to care/medication –nothing else. You are not to ride, groom, lunge etc. If you come to the farm, we expect you to follow all the guidelines currently in place— you are coming by yourself and not interacting with anyone directly.
While not ideal, sadly this next step has happened. Prior to this MDA directive, several full service barns in the area had already closed their doors to everyone other than essential employees. And while being clear, this message from us is in no way meant to be harsh or insensitive. Probably most of you were expecting this as well as expecting a ‘shelter in place’ to be enacted yesterday.
Steph is our point person for dealing with the Covid-19 circumstances. If you have any special requests or worries, if you wish to discuss getting your horse ridden or lunged—ALL queries should be directed to Steph and her only-email if non urgent: [email protected]; if urgent: text or call 240 731 0411.
Our number one priority always is the care of your horses and that will continue. We will do what is needed for each horse to remain healthy. Fortunately all the horses at Waredaca get plenty of turnout so additional exercise is generally not needed.
Fingers crossed we get a handle on this virus soon. Everyone at Waredaca- staff, boarders, students and family- want life to return to ‘normal’ as quickly as possible. We are lucky to have a great group of staff that will be here throughout this. Please take comfort in knowing that until it does, your horse is foremost as is the health of our personnel.
Following todays news conference by Gov. Hogan:
We are not on a ‘shelter in place’ mandate but all non essential businesses are to be closed as of 5 PM today. As an agricultural business, we are considered ‘essential’ and the care of your horses is our number one priority. To do this we need to keep our staff healthy.
While we cannot prevent you from coming out to see your horses, we strongly encourage you to stay at home. We want to stop the spread of this virus as quickly as possible and urge everyone to do their part. The less exposure the better especially for our staff.
For hayfield boarders if your horse needs medications please reach out to Steph directly to set up a plan going forward- ([email protected])
If you do decide to come out please follow these guidelines:
– REQUIRED NOW IS wearing gloves while in the barn, hayfield shed and indoor. We have some disposable gloves available and more ordered but better for you to purchase your own.
– Come out by yourself. We want to limit the number of people on the farm. If you need someone to drive you out, please limit it to one person and have them stay out of the barn areas.
– Do not schedule outside professionals unless absolutely necessary. If you do please let us know so we can figure out the best and safest plan.
-Only use barn tools (brooms, pitchforks etc) that have the red tape on the handles and wipe them down/spray with disinfectant when you are finished. There are supplies for you to use. And yes, do this even tho everyone is now required to wear gloves.
We are working hard to keep our staff safe and healthy. Your cooperation is vital.
This needs to be ‘our’ policy going forward, following the CDC and Federal recommendations. We welcome your suggestions of safeguarding our farm too. Our thanks in advance for your assistance and support to make this happen.
Gretchen, Robert, Steph, Rob, Gayle, Travis, Colleen and Melanie