Exciting Outcome from Horse Trust Funded Research
The Horse Trust has funded a vast amount of research through key universities, veterinary schools and the Animal Health Trust in order to establish an evidence base for best practice in caring for horses. In some cases, the research has been in collaboration with global experts at establishments the world over, in order to be able to share knowledge with expert scientists. We use the outcomes of this very important work, first and foremost, at our Home of Rest. Our everyday horse keeping will be shaped by the outcomes of this work. We then work closely with the researchers and with key organisations in the horse world to ensure that it can also be used by other charities, horse world bodies and ultimately individual horse keepers to improve the well-being of horses and ponies.
More About Our Research Topics
Equine Weight Management
Managing horses’ weight so that they can be as healthy as possible can be a challenge, especially in summer. The University of Liverpool has carried out a great piece of research work to develop a wide range of practical, simple hints and tips to help us all look after the weight of our horses!
Key points to improve biosecurity and reduce the spread of disease on horse yards
Our research work with the University of Liverpool looking at how horse keepers manage biosecurity and yard health has helped us in the recent outbreaks of equine flu. We have worked with Stromsholm (the farrier equipment experts) to produce a short video and lots of resources for farrier and equine professionals about the important things to do to reduce the risks of spreading disease. Click play below to watch the video.
Atypical myopathy and managing sycamore trees to prevent this disease
Sycamore trees are relatively common in the UK. Some sycamore trees produce seeds (the “helicopters”) and seedlings which contain a toxin called Hypoglycin A. Research has shown that this can be extremely harmful to horses causing a condition called Atypical Myopathy which prevents energy being produced in muscle cells, and the cells then die. If the horse becomes ill enough it can suffer from cardiac arrest or respiratory failure. In other words Atypical Myopathy can be fatal. Not all sycamores have high concentrations of this toxin. All of the Horse Trust’s sycamore trees are sampled using the test developed by the Royal Veterinary College, and if they are shown to present a risk to our horses, we may consider felling them. In each case, any felling will result in that tree being replaced by another of a different species.
Important new blood test for encysted redworm
Redworm Parasites are a major contributor to poor health and welfare, and have had an especially big impact on many of the rescue horses and ponies we have taken in. The work carried out by the Moredun Research Institute and the specialist lab Austin Davis Biologics means a big change in worm management. We can now accurately test for the redworm parasite whilst it is still in the gut wall of the horse, meaning that keepers only need to use worming products when necessary, decreasing worm resistance to available drugs and improving the health of horses. Ask your vet about the blood test.