Looking After Horses With Fouaad Mirza
Equestrian and Arjuna Award winner Fouaad Mirza talks about taking care of the horses during the pandemic, and the future of the Tokyo Olympics Games.
Horses need proper care and exercises, and when it comes to athletic horses, this measure should be taken even more seriously. Equestrian Fouaad Mirza says: “Horses need to be exercised or have access to a paddock where they can perform exercises of free choice. Restricting them to the stable may trigger problems, from colic to laminitis to injury or development of bad stable vices through sheer boredom.”
Show-jumper Nick Verlies too mentions the exercise routine that must be maintained for the horses. Presenting his concerns on the lack of competition and the resultant mental pressure, Verlies made some pertinent observations.
Read his entire input here: https://www.lapolo.in/blog/show-jumper-la-polo-nick-verlies-covid-19/
Mirza pointed towards basic care: “The basics like feeding, watering, grooming, cleaning the stable and light exercise are essential for the horses’ well-being.”
Talking about the safety measures of the horses and their caretakers, Mirza said: “Riding schools, training establishments and stud farms should safeguard their staff by making them reside on the premises and restricting their contact outside to the maximum possible. If their staff do not live on the premises, it would be good to have them work in shifts to ensure that if a staff member or groom should unfortunately contract the virus, there's always a healthy shift of professionals to pick up the slack.”
Mirza said one should take a common-sensical approach: “Governments or States must allow people in the animal husbandry and maintenance sector to work and care for the animals. All members of the staff should be instructed on the hygiene regulations, and if possible, be provided with Personal Protection Equipment.”
“I am fortunate to be able to continue my routine work with the horses under my charge, albeit at a scaled down level, considering that there is a lot of uncertainty about when competitive events will resume. This pandemic is going to change our sport in a profound way,” he said.
Mirza was keenly looking forward to the Tokyo Olympics 2020. But with COVID-19, the plans are postponed. “The Tokyo Olympic Games were inevitably going to be impacted by the sheer virulence and scale of this disease. It has affected almost every country on earth. The Games have been postponed; however, the situation is still bleak as experts around the world claim that this is just the beginning and it may take as long as 18 months for the development of a vaccine. For life to resume, from where it stopped, is hardly likely soon and we are sure to be entering a world with greater restrictions on movement.”
He added: “Large sporting events will probably be the biggest sufferers and they’re most likely to be at the bottom of the priority list because of the dangers involved in a large congregation of people at one venue. But it is what it is and there is always hope, as there are a lot of brilliant scientists and researchers who are working on a vaccine. I'm sure they’ll come up with a vaccine or a cure for this sooner rather than later.”