I Wish I Would Have Thought About That!
By Brandy Von Holten
As a facility owner and event host, I have seen the same situations time after time. Here are some tips to assure you have an even more enjoyable time while venturing out to trail riding and event facilities.
Negative Coggins Test and Health Certificates
When you pull into a facility for check-in, you could save yourself and the person checking you in some valuable relaxation time by having your current paperwork ready. Here are a few examples of when things went wrong that I have experienced:
- Friends traveled together and someone left their paperwork in their truck back home.
- A spouse cleaned the truck and took the equine papers out.
- Forgot to check the date, and paperwork was expired
- Left Coggins test at home because person did not know they would be checked.
- Switched to a different equine last minute and brought the wrong set of paperwork.
It is not a comfortable situation to have to send someone home as a facility owner, but for the safety of other’s equine, it is imperative to the equine industry that documents are checked. Here are some tips to help avoid an awkward and painful situation.
- Get rid of your expired paperwork. This will help you be able to quickly locate what you need.
- Have your veterinary email you a copy in addition to sending a hard copy. This way you retrieve proof easily.
- Take a photo and keep it on your phone. I have seen this tip come in handy for several trail guests.
- Send a photo in a private message of your Coggins test to your spouse or to the person you are traveling with to ensure you can easily access the paperwork when needed.
Navigation and Parking
In this day and age, people rely heavily upon their Smart Phones for directions. I would highly recommend checking a facility’s website for directions prior to heading out. There are typically tips or better routes available from the owner that technology might not know.
If you do not have the ability to back a trailer, you are in the majority and not the minority. If this is a concern of yours, just call the facility and ask to be in a site that does not require backing. If our pull-through sites are full, we always ask if the guest can back a trailer, or offer to back them into their site. It is important to know if your trailer will fit into the electric site, and what the dimensions are of your total area. Ask what accommodations are available at your site: amperage per site, water, and sewer availability.
Stalling Your Equine
Asking questions and doing some research before you arrive to a new destination can save you unneeded stress and worry. There are so many different variations to stalls and what each facility requires that there is no way to guess. Here is a set of questions to help avoid not being prepared:
- How large is the stall and is it covered? *Have the facility describe their gates, if possible.
- Does the facility provide shavings? If the facility does require shavings, can you bring your own and does the facility have shaving available to purchase?
- What is the protocol for the cleaning of the stall, and are there manure forks and wheel barrows available?
- Is water easily accessible at the stall barns? Are there water hoses available? *Do not use community water tanks or community buckets due to the spread of equine diseases. *Do not let the end of the water hose touch your equine’s bucket or be submerged into the water.
- Will bucket straps work with the design of the stall? Is there a set location to hang water bucket, salt, and hay?
- Find out the rules concerning picket lines, trailer tying, and portable pens.
It is fun and exciting to try new facilities. Fun and excitement is awaiting you! I hope this helps you be better prepared and have less bumps in the road.