What precautions are being taken by your barn to prevent COVID-19 spread?

I wasn’t sure where to put this, but I’m curious as to whether barns are taking any precautions and what that looks like. I hear something different regarding just about every barn I know a boarder at, and I’m curious how widespread this fluxuation is.

(Yes, you can choose more than one option - go ahead and choose all that apply.)

So, if you are at a boarding barn or a barn where you encounter people outside your household, what are some precautions they’re asking you to take? If you don’t mind, I’d also love to hear where you live (state, region, whatever you’re comfortable with) and whether you feel safe at your barn and if not, what you think would make you feel safer. I’d also love to know if your state gives guidance as to what equestrian facilities should be doing.

(Folks at barns where you don’t encounter people outside your household, I guess what are you doing when the farrier/vet/dentist shows up?)

  • Requires wearing a mask off the horse or inside the barn, etc.
  • Requires wearing a mask at all times
  • Has handwashing stations set up
  • Temperature checks
  • Requires scheduling to keep the number of people down
  • Is limiting outside people (cancelled shows, clinics, etc.)
  • Has a schedule/requirement for wiping down tools/high traffic areas
  • Asks people to stay home if they’re sick
  • Requests social distancing of at least 6’
  • No precautions at all
  • I just want to see the results

0 voters

I have only visited a single barn in the past 9 months that has any precautions in place. That barn had a mandatory mask policy until you were on a horse. For all of the rest there weren’t even basics conversations around people staying home if sick or limiting visitors.

1 Like

The barn I work at is taking some precautions, though implementation is kinda all over the place. Everyone is required to wear masks unless on the horse (at that point it is optional) and people are supposed to maintain 6’ distance between one another. 2/3rds of the barn is just boarders and 1/3rd are school/lesson horses.

The boarders all seem to be properly distancing themselves and wearing masks. The lesson students are also masked, but don’t always distance themselves correctly. The school is having all school tack disinfected between rides (Lyson spray and wipes), only private lessons, and no wandering around the barn. Despite that I still occasionally see randos wandering around the barn or people who decided to bring their entire family (dog included) to watch the small child have their lesson.

1 Like

Is this asking what precautions formally exist? Or which ones are actually followed? I have a feeling there’s an enforcement issue (as is the case with so many requirements) at many barns.


i just took two of my mares into the vet clinic, one for teeth float/vacs and one for a blood test for Cushings. The vet and both support staff and i all wore masks. They all wore gloves. We were outdoors. When my farrier comes we both wear masks. I recently had a new John Deere Gator delivered. I told the sales guy that he would need to wear a mask when he delivered. When they came, the truck driver was out of the truck and not wearing a mask. I called down from the front porch that he either needed to get back in the vehicle and roll up the windows or maskUp. He masked up. I had to stop at the bank, the recycling center and the gas station yesterday…and in the little redneck town here, ONLY the woman at the driveup window at the bank was wearing a mask. Around here, it is only safe if you isolate and demand anyone on your property wear a mask…anywhere else they are raw-doggin it. It’s shameful.

Saturday my coach is coming to our farm to teach. A friend will also be taking a lesson. first me on one horse, friend on another, and me on a third one. We will wear masks until we are mounted and away from coach. Our lesson will be outdoors. I think this is prudent enough.

1 Like

Personally, I’m interested in what barns are asking for versus what they’re actually getting. Just sort of curious if barns are trying.

Admittedly asking because at my own barn you would think the outside world is 100% normal and it’s giving me major anxiety to the point of weighing the pros and cons of going looking for a place that’s taking things at least slightly more seriously.

That said, vote how you like: what they’re actually doing or what they’re saying they’re doing. Just darkly curious… :slight_smile:

1 Like

We have to wear masks while in the barns or arena, unless on a horse.
Hand sanitizer is taped to all of the gates and barn doors.
Stay home if sick, even “just a cold”.
Physical distancing as much as possible.

Under the new provincial framework lessons will have to stop if cases grow too much, or if the local hospitals start getting overwhelmed. Under that same framework it says that boarders will still be able to come to the barn to care for and ride their horses. If we got to that point I think that I would stop riding and would just drop by when the barn is quiet to change blankets and brush them.

1 Like

I’m in MA and towards the beginning in late March, the barn was closed for 2 weeks per state guidelines. Then through May we had a schedule where we were either alone or with one other boarder if both parties were comfortable. Since then we’ve been open, but have been asked to stay home feeling sick and to test after traveling or if possibly exposed. I’m at a small barn and the horses live out except for in bad weather, so the only time boarders are in the barn is to get tack and to tack up. The cross ties are spaced throughout the barn, which is an L shape, which further helps distancing. There is no official rule, but people tend to go one at a time into the tackroom and no one crowds one another in the cross ties. We wear masks for vet visits, but otherwise do not. There are rarely more than 3 boarders at the barn at a time, and we have multiple outdoors and trails (no indoor,) so we are not crowded while riding.

Overall I feel safe with the set up, especially with the horses living out. The few times it has been crowded I’ve groomed and tacked out in my paddock. I do make sure to sanitize my hands when I park and as soon as I get back in the truck to leave, and am mindful to only touch my own tack/brushes (though we do all touch the doors, cross ties, light switches.)


I’m glad to see currently half of all voters report mask use and half of all voters report social distancing. Pretty disappointing that nearly a quarter report no precautions, which is the boat I’m in.

It’s hard to not be frustrated with my barn, because it’s the only place I go that’s not essential, so being able to feel “safe” or “safer” about my one extravagance would be nice… If I didn’t have a needy/accident prone horse who requires constant vigilance, I think I’d be staying home through the holidays.

Stay safe, guys! (And please wear a mask and socially distance even if your barn doesn’t require it!!!)


Maryland… and I’m embarrassed to say I’m not taking any precautions in the barn.

Don’t get me wrong, I take the pandemic very seriously. But in the barn, it’s a twofold issue of forgetting and not feeling at risk.

My horses are at my home. Contact with people outside my household is minimal. I have a college student who helps me out with odd jobs, the farrier and vet come by, I either pick up hay or have it delivered, but that’s it.

After the fact, I always think I should have worn a mask around the outside people. Yet I never do. They don’t, either. :woman_shrugging:


Maryland, public boarding barn on the property of a school. The school’s goal is Don’t Have a Case. The farm has taken this very seriously to protect themselves, their staff, and their students, and I’m grateful that they’ve taken just about every precaution on this list, and others, even if I personally think that some of what they’re doing is overkill or less necessary than it was thought at the start of the pandemic before we learned that the primary mode of transmission is aerosol. They take great care of the horses and they’re taking good care of the people, and I appreciate their efforts to keep everyone safe.


Uh, can you share where this is @Renn_aissance? Just in case I find my self ready to flee to safer grounds… :laughing:

(Spotted two additional people with masks at the barn today, which brings the number up to about 5 out of 65. Winning…)

I live in a state with a strong mask mandate and recent partial lockdown, which I’m sure influences our rules and compliance.

At our barn, masks are requested anytime you’re sharing a part of the barn with someone else, unless mounted. They are not required, but by and large people are good about putting on a mask when a human is in sight.

We have also been asked to tack up and do as much as possible in our horse’s stall - this is a quick and easy way to spread people out through the barn and reduce congestion (and conversation) by grooming stalls. There are a few who have permission to use cross ties for horse behavior or what not, and vets and farriers can use the cross ties. Tack room doors are open and heat off during the day - people congregate less and ventilation is improved. No more than 3 humans in arena at a time (we have a covered, so ventilation is good compared). An employee is designated to wipe down high touch surfaces daily. BO asks people not to come if sick or possible exposure - this is hardest to enforce.

1 Like

We have been on a 1.5 hour sign up with max of 3 people since end of March (no mask required). I have to say it’s wearing thin and people are getting burnt out. It’s hard to get your horse fit when you are only allowed to be there for 1 1/2 hours. I suggested a policy of mandatory mask wearing on the ground and that wasn’t deemed safe enough. Personally, I think it’s safer since we don’t have many boarders anyway and all our crossties are to the outside (no inner aisle). But I think it’s coming from the barn owner’s husband who isn’t a horse person and I suspect doesn’t really want boarders there to begin with.

1 Like

I answered the question as a boarder.

The boarders have all agreed to the broad rules (masks, hand washing, physically distance, tack up in our own stalls etc) so that the BO & muckers can be well away from us and not be forced to wear masks if they are doing something very strenuous. So far, it is working. I have also noticed a steep decline in visitors as the weather gets colder here.

1 Like

We are required to wear masks inside the barn. We also have scheduled ride times so there are not over the permissible number of people. Our farrier is required to do the horses outside. This will change however with the winter… because no one is doing anything outside when it’s -30 and gusty winds!

Most of the boarders are wearing their masks inside. However certain people do not so I just try to stay away. People are sticking to their riding times. Luckily the winter hasn’t come quite yet (which is unusual) so we are able to be outside. However that will change very soon.

I do wear my mask except when alone (which is often).

Our area is doing “ok” considering it was one of the hotspots several weeks ago. We seem to be stable and the numbers are well below what there were then.


My horses are at home so on a daily basis there are no precautions. When I go into the vets ( i have 2 that I use) one requires masks while at the office and the other limits 1 person in the office at 1 time/ keeping distance - no mask. I am fine with either.

I have had both the vet and farrier at my property several times since it all started and they do no masks, nor do I. In the open with fresh air I don’t feel much risk. and I am guessing they don’t either. If they wanted me to wear a mask while they were here I would.


Very few people are in my barn at any given time, so it hasn’t been an issue, but we are asked to wear masks when we’re not alone in the barn. I have a gator mask for the barn. My past barn was much busier and had similar requirements, but from what I saw no one really paid attention to them.

1 Like

my barn recently updated more strict rules, even though the masks inside barn aisle has been there since march, i’ve seen most borders/students with masks on, i have yet to see the trainers have masks on.

1 Like

We started wearing masks inside the facility unless you are on a horse when it started to get cold and the barn doors needed to be closed.
Everyone wears one
Number of people in the arena is limited to 4 (not a problem as we have a huge arena).
Social distance, wash your hands.