The equine community is becoming obsessed with ensuring all our saddle pads, boots, bandages, stable equipment and even outfits match. Whilst matchy matchy seems like just a trend, it does have some real benefits.
Despite our best efforts, equine illnesses and disease can occur on busy yards, causing problems like cross-contamination and spread of disease. Most yard owners and managers are aware of the 'best practice' guidelines involving the prevention of cross-contamination. However, ensuring that all members of staff and visitors follow these guidelines can be difficult - particularly if you're on a busy yard.
An easy way to prevent cross-contamination is using a set of equipment that is in a contrasting colour to your yard's usual equipment. For example, if you typically use a Blue Fork, Broom and Tidee™ to muck out; use a Red set of equipment for the horse who is unwell. Make sure everyone on the yard knows the red set is for the ill horse only and disinfect the equipment after use.
There's usually at least one horse on a busy yard that requires some form medication. Many yards use a large board listing a horse's feeding requirements to help staff when they're preparing feeds. This is a great way to ensure each horse gets the correct feed and correct medication whilst the feeds are being made up. If you're busy or have many feeds to prepare it can be easy to forget which feed bowl is for which horse. Using different coloured bowls to indicate that a feed contains medication, alongside using a whiteboard/feed list is a great way to ensure every horse on the yard gets the correct feed. Red Gorilla manufacture lids for their Gorilla Tubs often used as feed bowls. You can write the horses name, feed and any medications they have on the tubtop or, if you like write on your tub.
Large yards often have necessary equipment in specific places. For example, most yards keep a Tidee, Rake and Manure Skip next to the riding arena or keep a couple of buckets next to the water source for topping up paddock waters. There's nothing worse than walking all the way down to the paddock and realising the usual water bucket isn't there. Having a specific colour for pieces of equipment in designated spots may help you. For example, everyone knows the pink buckets live by the hose and the pink tidee stays by the arena.
Tried and tested
Friends of #TEAMRED, The Yorkshire Wildlife Park have tried and tested the matchy matchy trend across their 400 animal park. Head of animals, Dr Matt Hartley said, "the range of colours Red Gorilla products have, have enabled us to improve our biosecurity and disease control management at YWP (The Yorkshire Wildlife Park). Each of our animal species have colour-coded feed buckets and tools. For example, the leopards have green and tigers purple ensuring that the risk of cross contamination is reduced.
Where to buy
Equestrian equipment manufacturer, Red Gorilla, sell feed and water tubs/buckets in 10 different colours and sell forks, brooms and tools in up to 8 different colours!
Friends of #TEAMRED are a group of equestrians who have shared their riding experiences, hints tricks and stories with Red Gorilla. Check them out on the Friends of #TEAMRED page or if you've got stable management tips send them in or post a photo with the hashtags #RedGorilla. Get in touch via the Contact Us page.