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Horse-keeping practices in Australia: findings from a national online survey of horse owners

journal contribution
posted on 31.05.2018, 00:00 by Kirrilly ThompsonKirrilly Thompson, L Clarkson, CB Riley, M van den Berg
Objective To gain an understanding of general horse-keeping practices in Australia, including shelter, social contact, exercise, watering and supplementary feeding. Methods An online survey was conducted with 505 owners in relation to one ‘representative’ horse in their care. Results The majority (83%) of horses were managed at pasture. Approximately one-quarter of those horses were housed alone (26%) or with one companion animal (27%). If horses were confined to a stable or small yard, the most recorded means of exercise was riding (65%) at a daily frequency (60%). Over half of the horse owners provided water in a trough or drinker with an automatic refill system (58%) and most horse owners supplied hay to their horses (82%), most commonly in combination with grazing. Areas of potential concern included one-quarter of stabled horses being prevented from unmediated social and physical contact with conspecifics and one-fifth of stabled horses being exercised less than daily. Conclusion The horse-keeping profile in this study should be considered in the public communication of guidelines as well as interactions between veterinarians and clients.

Funding

Category 3 - Industry and Other Research Income

History

Volume

95

Issue

11

Start Page

437

End Page

443

Number of Pages

7

ISSN

0005-0423

Publisher

Wiley

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

Acceptance Date

13/02/2017

External Author Affiliations

Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand; University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales, Australia; MB Equine Services, Armidale, New South Wales, Australia

Author Research Institute

Appleton Institute

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Australian Veterinary Journal

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