Contact Information

Dr. Tony Pescatore, Ph.D.
Interim Department Chair

900 W.P. Garrigus Building Lexington, KY 40546-0215

+1 (859) 257-2686

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Developing a Personal Preparedness Plan                FAQs

Horse Care during the Covid-19 “stay at home” mandate:

  • These guidelines are meant to assist the Kentucky horse industry during this unprecedented time.
  • These are guidelines and we have no regulatory authority should you not follow these.
  • Privately owned facilities and service providers should set forth guidelines intended to safeguard their essential employees and ownership.
  • Horse owners should respect and follow these guidelines and any rules or decisions made by private barns and facility owners.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every aspect of our equine industry. The Office of the Kentucky State Veterinarian has developed guidelines based on Governor Beshear’s mandates. These guidelines can be found here:

The collaboration of our community and the equine industry is critical as we collectively work to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19 while providing essential care for Kentucky’s horses, and safeguarding the physical and mental health and wellbeing of horse owners.

What is not permissible during Kentucky’s stay-at-home/social distancing restrictions? 
Livestock exhibitions, horse shows, fairs, camps, clinics, and any activity where more than 10 people are in close proximity and social distancing is not possible.

What is permissible during Kentucky’s stay-at-home/social distancing restrictions?
Horse owners, barn managers and service providers are permitted to engage in activity that supports equine health and maintenance:

  • Feeding
  • Stall cleaning and manure management
  • Turn-out and exercise
  • Riding and training
  • Breeding and reproduction
  • Veterinary care
  • Farrier care

Industries that support agriculture and the equine industry are allowed to operate, including, but not limited to:

  • Hay suppliers
  • Feed stores
  • Fuel providers

Conduct all equine-related activities while following the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, including:

  • Stay at home when sick.
  • Frequent handwashing.
  • Do not touch your face.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and equipment.
  • Maintain a 6-foot distance between others (social distancing).
  • 14-day quarantine if diagnosed with or exposed to COVID-19.
  • Horse facilities may take these actions to effectively follow CDC guidelines
  • Schedule and stagger individual appointments to avoid person-to-person contact.
  • Limit time at facilities.
  • Sanitize commonly touched surfaces and equipment between uses.
  • Allow only owners at public facilities.
  • No sharing of equipment and tools.
  • Washing of hands and use of hand sanitizers

If facilities cannot effectively follow CDC guidelines, facilities may choose to close to all but essential employees who are responsible for daily care and maintenance of horses. Owners should respect and follow guidelines set by private facilities.

Owners and caretakers are obligated to provide basic care for all livestock and horses including feed, water, shelter, veterinary and related care, and turn-out during the stay-at-home restrictions.

Points to consider
Although you are allowed to go see and ride your horse, each barn will have different rules based on the health of their workers, and the number of people at the same place at the same time. Please respect stable owners’ policies intended to limit human exposure to COVID-19, even if that means barn visits are not permitted.

If necessary to ensure adequate care, you are permitted to move or transport your horse. Social distancing and sanitation guidelines should be followed at all times.

Any aspect of animal husbandry is an essential service, and that includes farrier services, veterinary appointments, hay and feed delivery, etc. However, everyone must follow social distancing and sanitation guidelines.

Veterinarians, farriers, trainers, barn workers, should all maintain social distance, and not comingle with more than 10 people at the same place at the same time.

Stable owners may adopt rules intended to limit human exposure to COVID-19 while ensuring continued animal husbandry activities and services, and while following CDC guidelines.

Although we all understand that emergency vet care is always allowed, it is understood that some routine vet care is essential for the life and well-being of the animals. If necessary for adequate care, you are allowed to continue with routine appointments, as long as your veterinarian or any other service provider agrees to see your animal. However, some service providers may choose to see only emergency appointments to limit human exposure to COVID-19 while ensuring animal health. Please respect service owners’ policies intended to limit human exposure to COVID-19, even if that means restricted appointments. You could catch your horse and leave him in a stall and maintain yourself at a distance during these appointments, if it is safe for everyone involved to do so.

Horse owners should have plans in place to provide care for their animals if they become sick or hospitalized. At a minimum, this should include a description of your horse(s); their location; specific care and feeding instructions; name and contact information of service providers (e.g. veterinarian, farrier); inventory of feed, supplies, and medications; and a list of individuals and their contact information who are willing to provide care.

More information is available at:

Contact Information

Dr. Tony Pescatore, Ph.D.
Interim Department Chair

900 W.P. Garrigus Building Lexington, KY 40546-0215

+1 (859) 257-2686