Britain’s recent wet and warm weather could lead to fat horses and the risks associated with equine obesity, a leading charity says.
World Horse Welfare is urging horse owners to consider the impact of the weather on their horse’s grazing, and to be aware of its tips for weight management.
The wet and warmer weather means grass will grow more quickly and can be thick and lush, meaning it is important for owners to keep a close eye on the calorie intake of horses.
“After an unusually dry winter we have seen a lot more rainfall recently and with the weather warming up, the combination of the two will certainly mean plenty of new grass appearing,” the deputy head of British support at World Horse Welfare, Sam Chubbock, said.
“This sudden growth can often take horse owners by surprise so it’s important to have a plan in place.
“Rich grass can be a huge problem for horse owners and it’s one of the main triggers for laminitis.
“Although the condition affects all types of horses and ponies throughout the year, our charity’s field officers certainly attend more calls regarding laminitis at this time of year.
“It’s an incredibly painful condition and it’s notoriously difficult to manage, but if you monitor your horse regularly, you may be able to avoid weight-induced laminitis completely. Therefore it’s vital to ensure your horse is consuming the correct amount of calories for its breed, age, type and workload.”
» The charity’s top 10 tips for managing a horse’s weight can be found here.