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“My husband has a ‘regular’ job and does some farrier work on the side. I’m a molecular biologist/microbiologist. Disease transmission is a regular topic at our house. Medical professionals tend to tell us that we receive diseases from our horses, but it’s usually the humans passing pathogens to the horses.
“We do a few things to break up those cycles. We wash our hands frequently, before we go to the barn and as soon as we leave the barn. We do not use antibacterial soap, just regular soap and warm water with thorough cleansing. I keep a box of alcohol-based ‘wipes’ in both trucks for times when warm soapy water isn’t available.
“I’m a big advocate of using bleach. If you think you’ve handled a diseased horse, you can mix a 50/50 solution and wipe down most of your shoeing tools in just a few minutes. Some things are more problematic, like wooden handles or rasps, but you get the idea. Change your shirt when you get home before you handle your own horses. It’s not worth exposing them.
“Keep your vehicle clean and the windows rolled up. There’s no point in transporting flies around the area. I know some full-time farriers will think this is not very practical, but it doesn’t take much to interrupt the transmission pathways of most pathogens.”
— Wanda Manley, Cheyenne, Wyo.
“I try not to use my halter or leads on horses. If I come across abscesses or horses with fungile infections, I wipe…