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News Article

Farriers may have a role in supporting horse owners to prevent laminitis

Farriers need to work closely with horse owners to spot the subtle signs of the painful condition laminitis, a study suggests

Researchers from the University of Surrey conducted in-depth interviews with farriers and horse owners in the UK to understand how their relationship and their approach to equine care can help prevent laminitis. Their findings are published in the Equine Veterinary Journal.

Researchers found that farriers who have a holistic approach, place an emphasis on building long-standing, trusting relationships with owners. It is this approach and a commitment to the overall health of the horse that can potentially reduce instances of laminitis.

The study also found that farriers who are more technically-focused, can work well with owners who have knowledge and understanding of laminitis, but are not providing more welfare-focused support, particularly useful for owners new to caring for horses.

An earlier study in Equine Veterinary Journal found that 75 per cent of horses in Great Britain are cared for by their owner, many of whom are new to horse ownership and may not have the knowledge or skill needed to care for horses at risk of laminitis. In such instances, the role of the farrier is invaluable in helping to identify potential problems such as obesity, so that appropriate referrals can be made to equine vets, nutritionists and other equine professionals.

Lead author of the latest paper, Jenny Lynden from the University of Surrey, said: “The relationship between a horse owner and their farrier is not to be underestimated. When more holistic support is required by an owner, farriers who want to and have trained to engage in this way, have a huge role to play in providing this support. The key is to ensure that farriers and owners can be ‘matched’ appropriately, so that owners who require more holistic-focused interventions can access farriers who can and want to offer this type of support.”

A new survey is seeking to extend this understanding by finding out how horse owners and farriers prefer to work with each other. This will help inform support for farriers’ continuing professional development.

Survey for horse owners working with a farrier:

Survey for farriers:

Read article: Contracting for care – the construction of the farrier role in supporting horse owners to prevent laminitis by J. Lynden, J. Ogden and T. Hollands, published in Equine Veterinary Journal (2018) 50:658-666, doi: 10.1111/evj.12950

Article details

  • Date
  • 29 August 2018
  • Source
  • University of Surrey
  • Subject(s)
  • Horses and other Equines