What are the welfare challenges facing pleasure and competition horses? A four-year research study, led by academics at the University of Bristol’s School of Vet Sciences set to find out. I thought it was cool that experts from across the equine industry contributed to the research- vets, farriers, trainers, welfare charities, breed and competition associations. As we know, these groups are often at cross- purposes!

The priority welfare challenges and solutions identified in the study include:

  • Unresolved stress or pain behavior: educating horse caregivers about signs of stress and pain

  • Inappropriate nutrition: especially, overfeeding and obesity

  • Inappropriate stabling and turnout: limited turnout, social isolation and poor grazing conditions
  • Delayed death: owners might keep horses alive inappropriately resulting in prolonged suffering of a horse in pain

Horse and Hound 


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