Could you volunteer your horse to help the Animal HealthTrust in their latest ground-breaking study, which aims to help develop guidelines for appropriate rider weight for horses?
The ATH are looking for owners to volunteer their horses to help in their latest ground-breaking study, which aims to help develop guidelines for appropriate rider weight for horses.
"There is an apparent growing problem of riders who are oversized for their horses. It has become a hot topic within the industry and has thankfully drawn attention to the welfare risk to horses, which the AHT seeks to help resolve."
Currently there is a complete lack of reliable scientific research on which to base guidelines for appropriate rider size. However, excessive rider size has clear welfare implications for horses and ponies in all types of work.
"Riders who are too heavy for their horse or pony can cause chronic back pain and lameness, as well as giving the horse a negative association to being ridden as they pre-empt pain. There is therefore an urgent need to start to provide some evidence-based guidelines to the equine industry as to what constitutes excessive rider size, under different circumstances."
During the study horses will be stabled at World Horse Welfare’s Snetterton centre, under the professional care of the AHT team.
They will need to be available for 3 – 8 September and will be stabled on site throughout the study. Any costs involved in travelling to World Horse Welfare, Snetterton will be reimbursed.The horses must also be vaccinated against influenza and tetanus.
The aim of this study is to investigate whether there are any short term measurable differences when horses are ridden.
Owners of the horses taking part will have access to free advice from experts in their field, including vets, saddle fitters, nutritionists and professional riders. The horses will be given a free saddle-fit assessment and any adjustments will also be carried out free of charge.
If you horse is able to take part, they would be helping to take the weight off many other horses’ shoulders, for which they and the AHT would be very grateful.