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The College of Animal Welfare

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AHT study needs owners to volunteer their horses – Can you help?

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The AHT is asking horse owners to volunteer their horses to help in a unique study.

The aim of the study is to provide some evidence-based guidelines to the equine industry as to what constitutes excessive rider size, under various circumstances. Riders who are too heavy for their horse or pony can cause chronic back pain and lameness.

During the study, each horse will be ridden by four competent riders of different weights. Subjective and objective assessment of gait and behaviour when ridden, measurement of forces under the saddle, heart rate during exercise and recovery, cortisol levels, and back dimensions before and after exercise will be assessed.

Horses for the study need to be:

  • between 450kg and 550kg bodyweight (about 15hh to16hh)
  • in regular work and capable of working two 30-minute sessions in a day
  • capable of working on the bit in walk, trot and canter
  • available between 3 and 8 September (horses will be stabled on site throughout the study)
  • able to travel to World Horse Welfare in Snetterton, Norfolk (costs will be reimbursed)
  • vaccinated against influenza and tetanus

If you think you can help, email equine.centre@aht.org.uk or telephone 01638 751908.

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