Let me clear about one thing: I’m not really a fan of scaremongering, so when I started hearing about outbreaks of Equine Influenza all over the country, I decided to keep calm and do what I normally do – drink tea. This does, however, not mean I’m unaware of the gravity of the current situation. I find it particularly scary that – at least to my knowledge – there are now at least six but possibly more known cases in vaccinated horses.
I know that when Markfield Equestrian Centre in North Leicestershire confirmed a case of equine flu on their yard earlier today, this will have hit a little too close to home for many of my clients – and for me as well, I must admit!
A you will probably know, the BHS has issued a leaflet on how to best deal with equine influenza and advice has been widely shared across the web. You can also keep up to date on Equiflunet (hosted by the Animal Health Trust.
It all breaks down to one thing though: Make sure your horse’s jabs are up to date and be vigilant.
For the time being, however, I don’t feel like this will affect my work as an equine photographer. As you may know I rarely photograph sports events anymore these days and I haven’t planned to attend any equestrian events in the near future. I will change procedures when I travel to and from your yard and will make sure to always arrive with clean and/or disinfected clothes, shoes and equipment.
If you have booked in with me already or are planning to book a photoshoot, but a horse at your yard shows symptoms (both confirmed and unconfirmed), please let me know as soon as possible. I’m afraid this will mean that we have to postpone your photoshoot. However, as soon as your vet clears your yard for outside traffic, I will of course ensure to prioritise your session.
My own horse lives in a very small heard of eight at a very private yard with none of the other horses competing or regularly leaving the yard. We also regularly update our jabs (but as we know now this doesn’t mean anything). However, I will also not visit her immediately before or after a photoshoot for the time being – just to be on the safe side.