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Weight gain is major concern for horse owners, reveals lockdown survey

Survey was organised to see where and how people might need support and guidance for their horses during this very difficult time

19 May 2020, at 3:00pm

A survey conducted by SPILLERS, has revealed that horse owners are concerned about their horses’ expanding waistlines during lockdown and are also worried about fizzy behaviour. The survey results have prompted SPILLERS to highlight their library of online resources and produce additional information to help guide and support owners on keeping their horses trim, calm and healthy.

SPILLERS ran the online survey in mid-April to find out more about the effects of lockdown on horses’ routines. 54 percent of respondents said their biggest feed related concern during this time was weight gain and 41 percent were worried about laminitis.

While 65 percent of respondents had not changed their management routine during lockdown, 12 percent said they were now turning their horses out 24/7 and an additional 9 percent had introduced strip grazing or a grazing muzzle to manage grass intake.

25 percent of those who had been previously riding had now stopped and in answering the question about feed-related concerns 21 percent of respondents were worried about fizzy or excitable behaviour, whether on the ground or when riding.

“We organised the survey to see where and how people might need support and guidance for their horses during this very difficult time,” said Clare Barfoot RNutr, Marketing and Research and Development Director at SPILLERS.

“Obesity and laminitis are serious issues, especially now that the grass is growing in abundance and in particular 24/7 turnout coupled with reduced exercise can significantly increase the risks. Now that the BEF has revised its advice and more people are likely to start riding again, excitable horses and fizzy behaviour may also become a bigger concern. We are now actively signposting owners towards our collection of online blogs, tips and advice to help owners minimise the risk of weight gain and reduce excitability in their horses.”

Follow SPILLERS on Facebook to find out more. For advice on condition scoring and dieting, and for obesity, feed and management tips visit SPILLERS website.

SPILLERS team are also on hand, via virtual consultations and the Care-Line to give reassuring feeding advice. To book a virtual visit call the SPILLERS Care-Line on 01908 226626 or email helpline.horsecareUK@effem.com.