Equine Herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) Question: Is It Safe To Take My Horse Off Property To Ride

Because equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) is such a serious disease, my suggestion is to batten down the hatches and stick tight to your barn for now, including staying away from anywhere other horses congregate, to prevent your horse from contracting equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1). While there have only been a few isolated cases of equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) our area (Boulder), it is possible the virus is still in incubatory stages at the moment.
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Because equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) is such a serious disease, my suggestion is to batten down the hatches and stick tight to your barn for now, including staying away from anywhere other horses congregate, to prevent your horse from contracting equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1). While there have only been a few isolated cases of equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) our area (Boulder), it is possible the virus is still in incubatory stages at the moment.

Because equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) is such a serious disease, my suggestion is to batten down the hatches and stick tight to your barn for now, including staying away from anywhere other horses congregate, to prevent your horse from contracting equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1).

While there have only been a few isolated cases of equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) our area (Boulder), it is possible the virus is still in incubatory stages at the moment. I"d recommend that you simply stay home for the next couple weeks and see how this plays out. If everyone sticks tight with their horses on their farm, there is a chance to contain this virus from spreading. It was recently suggested by the CSU extension folks to a tack store owner to not take in any blankets or tack for cleaning or repair, and that customers should leave their barn clothes and shoes outside the door before entering the store. That"s how seriously the animal health community is taking this.

So, with all that in mind, the short answer is, it is probably best to pursue some other hobbies for the next couple weeks, ride on your property, and then see how everything is. When I suggested to stay "home," I meant that quite literally. Home at the barn. I"ve seen two outbreaks of this neurologic viral form over the past 27 years and it is beyond difficult to deal with a down horse that is essentially paralyzed. Hopefully this will turn out to be no more than a short-lived inconvenience while you play safe.

Dr. Nancy Loving, DVM has been both a dressage and event competitor and has been involved in the endurance world as an FEI-sanctioned veterinarian and as team vet for the USEF national endurance squad. She graduated from Colorado State University Veterinary School in 1985, and since then has practiced equine medicine and surgery exclusively.

She is the author of Go the Distance: The Complete Resource for Endurance Horses, Conformation and Performance; Veterinary Manual for the Performance Horse; and All Horse Systems Go. All Horse Systems Go contains a section on the Equine Herpesvirus, and can be found here: Horse Books Etc