Golden oldie Shamrock has always been a healthy, happy pony with no major health problems, but when Gail heard about the CARE study, she felt compelled to sign Shamrock up.
The CARE study aims to gather health and management data from as many British horses and ponies as possible to help identify risk factors which could address some of the most worrying welfare challenges we face today, particularly laminitis. Read more about the aims of the study here.
Shamrock has never had laminitis, but that hasn’t stopped his owner Gail from registering him for the CARE study. “I think laminitis is something that everyone should be concerned about. The fact that it can strike any horse, at any age, at any time means that the more we can try and minimise the risks, the better.”
“The study encourages me to keep a close eye on Shamrock’s condition. It’s very easy when you have a retired pony in a field and are seeing them twice a day to not be aware of small changes in their health. Measuring him and looking at the results carefully makes me more aware of his weight and how well he’s maintaining his condition. Just because your horse has never had laminitis, it doesn’t mean it won’t ever get it.”
Every horse and pony in Britain is eligible to take part in the study, regardless of their age, use, breed or current health status. The study uses data from horse owners across Britain, who fill out a simple, online questionnaire detailing their horse’s management and health and return to provide regular updates.
“If you’ve got a horse, please get involved. It’s very straightforward, it helps you look after your horses and it benefits the wider community of horse owners, including yourself. The sad thing is that however well you think you’re looking after your horse, it can still get laminitis.”
Gail and Shamrock are urging all horse owners to sign up to the CARE study today.
It’s simple, it doesn’t take much time and it could be the breakthrough needed to advance the knowledge we have of laminitis and other health conditions. However, without the support of Britain’s horse owners, these conclusions remain out of reach and these health conditions continue to be a serious threat to our horses.