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What Your Horse Sitter Needs to Know

You’ve made your arrangements, you have your tickets, your kids are with the in-laws, your bags are packed and waiting in the car, but does your horse sitter know everything they need to know? Have you prepared your sitter for your horse’s individual needs? Are you confident that every possible situation is covered?

When you hired your horse sitter did you make sure you told them about any illnesses your horse is prone to or suffers from? Do they know how to administer medications, or equally important, can they get refills if they are needed? Medications keep your animal healthy and happy. Make sure you go over any medicines your horse needs more than once so you are comfortable with your horse sitter giving the horse what it needs daily. The same holds true for supplements, which can be equally important. Also, make sure that you have listed the numbers of your veterinarian and ferrier clearly for your horse sitter. Make financial provisions for the medical/hoof care of your horse known to the professionals involved and the horse sitter to prevent any confusion should any problems present themselves.

How does your horse react to change? You know your animal better than anyone and you need to make sure you provide all the knowledge of your horse that your horse sitter might need to know in your absence. Is your horse sensitive new people? How do you help your horse calm down when he is spooked or upset? If your horse sitter doesn’t know these things, your trip could be ruined by a phone call telling you of unforeseen issues. Educate your horse sitter on all aspects of your animal.

Will you be able to be reached while away? Have you provided your sitter with your cell phone number, your hotel information and an alternate contact if they can’t reach you? What should they do if there is an emergency with your animal? Do they know what you would want done? Making sure the horse sitter can answer these questions will make your animal’s care easier for your helper.

Does your horse like a special food treat in the evening or do Granny Smith apples give him colic? Is a little extra feed a source of gas for your horse? Does he need to be loose in his corral before stabling for the evening, or does he prefer exercise early in the day? Not meeting the physical needs of a horse can cause him to develop nervous habits in your absence, such as cribbing or weaving. Those are habits which can be hard to break.

You can alleviate problems by ensuring that you educate your horse sitter. If you do, your animal will remain healthy and happy while you are away. Make sure you tell your horse sitter everything they need to know so they can give you and your horse the best possible service.