Local livestock feel the impact of poor air quality too

Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 3:55 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Here at the Pair of Aces Stables located in the historic Silver Circle Ranch, the arena is seeing no activity. Jumps and obstacles are idle. It’s not because there are no horses or riders. To the contrary the animals are literally on stall rest.

That’s because the air outside could pose a health risk should the horses be physically pushed and take in more smoke-filled air.

“We actually have smoke protocols in place,” says Liz Reader, Owner of Pair of Aces Stables. “And last week on Thursday night or Wednesday night when the smoke rolled in, sent an email out to my clients and told them what to expect until the smoke clears,” she says.

Besides stall rest, Reader says she and her staff try to keep the horses as hydrated as possible.

That means water is always available. But their hay and grain are also watered down so the animals are constantly taking in water whether they realize it or not. The idea is to keep the animals as comfortable as possible so they are less likely to run into health problems.

Horses will be groomed daily as well. It’s a chance for the animal to get out of the stall, to engage their mind, and for the groomer to see if there are any physical changes.

“A medium tissue message keeps their body active,” says Reader. “We can do stretches, carrot stretches, leg stretches. We just do good quality grooming. We do the best we can to keep their bodies going,” she says.

Reader says they are still in show and competition season. But authorities and boards have learned to pivot and change schedules until the air quality improves, and the horses are at their best.

Meantime she says, she keeps her eye on the A-Q-I in hopes of clearer skies ahead.

Reader says once the AQI gets to 150 or lower the horses can start to get back to their regular routine.