April 7 was World Health Day, a theme that is fitting for the current COVID-19 circumstances. Let’s dive into what one stable in particular is doing to stay safe during this time.
After finishing a successful 10 weeks at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), True North Stables has remained at its base in Wellington, Florida for safety purposes, where owner Caitlyn Shiels and assistant trainer Cody Wooten continue to keep the horses fit. True North’s second base is in Illinois.
“While following the guidelines of the [Center for Disease Control and Prevention] and staying safe to help contain the spread of the virus, we’re also working hard to keep our horses on their regimented programs,” said Wooten. “They obviously don’t know that anything has changed, and we want to keep it that way.”
Shiels and Wooten will be focusing on their horses’ fitness and well-being, as well as their own well-being, while implementing quarantine guidelines for the farm.
“It’s important to us to keep our horses going, but it’s equally important that we practice social distancing and follow extra safety measures during this time,” said Shiels. “We’re continually adapting and acclimating to the current situation, but it’s helpful to find solace in knowing that by taking these measures now, we’re helping to protect our industry and ensuring that we have an industry to return to.”
Watch the video below to learn more about what the team is doing keep themselves and their horses safe from COVID-19.
#HelpfulTipTuesday These past few weeks, and likely the weeks to come, have been entirely uncharted territory for any of us! In light of that, we wanted to share just a few things that we're doing to keep ourselves and our horses safe and healthy. ⤵️
Posted by True North Stables – Caitlyn Shiels on Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Video courtesy True North Stables.
True North has taken several safety precautions that are recommended to all boarding/training barns, including:
- Temporarily closing the facility to anyone who is not essential
- Increased sanitization efforts for common surfaces, including stalls, doorknobs, light switches, sink faucets, gates, and cross-ties
- Staff safety measures, including social distancing and more frequent/thorough hand washing
While no one knows for certain when competition will resume, True North is remaining positive about the benefits of the time at home.
“Downtime can be great for our horses,” said Shiels. “I look at last year, and we didn’t show from Derby Finals in August until Wellington in January, but we kept the horses going in their individual programs, and they came out fit and better than ever. We still had a focus and a goal, and we’re finding comfort in maintaining that same focus now.”