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How Can Barns Cope with COVID-19?

During these times of extreme caution and need for social distancing, how do barns cope? ASHA highly recommends that all barn businesses comply with the recommendations of the CDC and their local government and health officials. We also believe at this time that the barn can continue to be a sanctuary and a place of healthy physical activity during this time when many other outlets are off-limits due to the requirements of social distancing. Currently, the CDC and many states set the group size limit to 50 or less in one area. Making most barn environments with the proper sanitary measures and health screening protocols can still safely accommodate clients and students. Below is a series of questions we would like our Saddlebred barns to consider and contemplate as to how they can continue to support their businesses and customers.

Can you adequately provide for the cleaning, distancing, and monitoring of staff and guests as recommended by the US Center for Disease Control?
Can you adjust your lesson schedule to accommodate students to smaller groups or individual lessons?
Can you adjust your lesson schedule to ensure regular and proper cleaning procedures of barn, equipment, yourself, and staff? 
If you can assure the areas above, are you able and feel capable of increasing the ratio of lessons and client visits to help them cope with the strains of social distancing measures being taken in businesses and places that cannot operate within the CDC guidelines? 
Have you set up a communication plan to notify customers of your changes in operations?
Have you established federal and state health authorities to monitor to ensure that you are continuing to comply with their recommended protocol strictly? 

While these are trying times for all, we all must continue to work together to make every effort to diminish the potential for community spread. As an association and community that has many wonderful members that fall into the highest “at-risk” group of COVID-19, we will continue to encourage and support that all Saddlebred community activities are done with the utmost caution. Yet, also able to continue to help with the vital mental and emotional health necessary for people to get through these times. If you are a barn that can answer all the above questions with confidence and have the resources to provide a clean and careful barn we look forward to supporting you in your effort to continue to teach lessons, provide clients their equine therapy and make a positive impact on your community.

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