Residents have some safety concerns when it comes to how the public interacts with horses.
Despite their size, horses are easily frightened animals and can “spook” (run, buck, or kick suddenly out of fear) without much reason. Bailey says it’s extremely important for the public to educate themselves and be mindful while coming through a community which seems to have as many horses as people (with over 300 horses being housed on properties in the area) and riders on the streets are almost constant.
“There’s bicycles and kids and lose dogs coming through and they’re not at all familiar with horses and that they spook, and bikes will come racing beside them not saying heads up or anything so that’s been a bit of an issue” – Debbie Bailey, horse owner and Southlands resident
According to Bailey, the main concern among Southlands residents is for the safety of tourists, horses and riders. As when horses spook, because of their strength and size they can easily injure or even cause death to themselves and others.
“It’s an education for people, they’ve all got to get out somewhere, but if you’re going into a horse community it’s important to be aware of.” – Debbie Bailey, horse owner and Southlands resident
While BC Health Minister Bonnie Henry has said social distancing outdoors does not pose an increased risk for contracting Covid-19, entering more remote areas without educating yourself on the possible risks can be a hazard.
As the demand for less busy areas within Vancouver to get outside likely won’t be subsiding until social distancing protocols do, it’s important that the public get informed on potential risks of any new areas or communities they haven’t entered before.