Bruce Schultz | 8/2/2018 8:34:47 PM
(08/02/18) CROWLEY, La. — Horse owners should prepare for a hurricane long before a tropical system threatens to enter the Gulf of Mexico.
“Planning is the key to keeping your horses safe,” said Howard Cormier, of the LSU AgCenter Master Horseman Program. “Ensure that your horse is up-to-date on all vaccines.”
He said his own personal experiences preparing for a storm led him to detailing steps that horse owners should consider.
“I just realized there’s work to be done in preparation for a storm, and if you can get most of it done ahead of time, the better off you are. It’s all real life experiences that make you wiser,” Cormier said.
For example, Cormier recalled cutting trees just before a storm and realizing how much easier it would have been to do that work earlier without the stress of approaching weather.
If a horse owner plans to leave an area in the path of a storm, several steps should be taken in advance, Cormier advised. Many horse owners never transport their animals, but horses should be taught to enter a trailer long before evacuation time.
“You do not want to get into a big fight with a resistant horse and then have to haul it to a vet because of an injury while loading,” he said.
Planning for an evacuation also includes determining evacuation routes, locating evacuation stables and finding feed sources. Evacuation should be early enough to prevent traffic delays. Horses should be observed for potential dehydration and signs of colic or intestinal distress, he said.
If you plan to remain at home with horses, Cormier recommends the following:
Immediately before a storm:
Horse owners should prepare in advance of tropical storms to assure their animals are protected. Photo by Bruce Schultz/LSU AgCenter