Keeping in line with the previous two posts, mine is also horse-health related.
A little over a week ago, the boarders and students in my barn received an email from the barn owner/trainer that the barn was on "lockdown" for thirty days because of the EHV-1. No horses were alllowed in. If you took your horse out of the barn, you couldn't return it until the lockdown ended.
The barn owner consulted with her veterinarian and read several press releases from reputable sources on the subject. There was also a horse diagnosed about 20 miles away with the virus. Her barn is a busy one, and horses come and go several times a day.
I applauded her quick action as responsible and unselfish. After all, Kari and the assistant trainer stood to lose a month's worth of lesson fees from haul-in students, not to mention entry fees from shows during the lockdown period. I appreciated her willingness to put the health of the horses over her financial gain.
In talking to other friends, the majority of them were not taking their horses anywhere until the threat was deemed passed by those in authority.
Other horse owners I knew were not so concerned. They discounted the EVH-1 threat as over-reaction by the horse community. They continued to go on their group horse activities, were offended when a local show was cancelled, and considered the entire thing to be an unfounded panic. Their lack of concern for their horses irritated me. Especially when they complained about a show being cancelled or chastized their friends for not going on a organized ride.
I held my tongue, but it was difficult. From my viewpoint, the only way to stop the spread of EHV-1 was to cease all horse travel and make sure all people handling your horses take precautions. I considered their actions self-serving and showing little concern for the horse. They considered me an alarmist given to bouts of panic.
Now that the risk of EVH-1 is waning, the people who didn't believe it was a serious issue are defending their stance by pointing out how it didn't become an epidemic and stating those of us who chose to keep our horses home were being paranoid.
I see it differently. I believe it's because of the responsible actions of people like my barn owner who who prevented the disease from becoming an epidemic.
What do you think? Was it all hype and hysteria? Were the extreme measures taken by many barns necessary? What would you expect a responsible horse owner to do in this case?