“For anybody looking to keep an eye on their horse’s health, the Care study is a super way to do it.”
In the run-up to CARE day on 10th February 2016, we will be sharing some touching stories about horses and owners enrolled on the vital study, allowing them to inspire you to join the charge against Laminitis. This painful, debilitating disease can affect horses of any age, breed or use and it is imperative for horses everywhere that the CARE study
When 9-year-old Arab Ari came down with Laminitis in 2013, his owner Lorraine was distraught. Having been through a tough recovery period, Lorraine is now taking part in the CARE study to raise awareness of the disease and how it can strike when you least expect it.
“After coming in from the field one day and standing eating his haynet, I could see Ari was shuffling his weight from foot to foot. This definitely wasn’t normal for him, so I called the vet, and he confirmed that it was Laminitis.
“I was devastated. I just thought, “This is my fault.” I’d been busy so he’d had a month off work and I hadn’t been monitoring him as closely, so it crept up on us and we were caught out. At the time when he was ill, two of my friends lost horses to Laminitis, which made it all the more concerning.”
It was during this time that Lorraine discovered the CARE study, which seeks to establish which health conditions are most prevalent in Britain’s horses and particularly focuses on Laminitis and the risk factors for its development.
“I saw an advert for the study and I was really interested. With Ari having had and recovered from Laminitis, I wanted to help to spread awareness of the condition.”
To take part in the study, owners simply have to sign up and submit regular online updates regarding their horse’s health and management.
In addition, owners are provided with the opportunity to monitor the weight and condition of their horses and ponies; inputting the information into an online weight tracker. Detailed guidance and a tape measure are provided as part of the CARE welcome pack. Owners have the option to take some simple body measurements in order to estimate weight, as well as being encouraged to take an active ‘hands-on’ approach when condition scoring.
“The study is so useful – the weight tracker is fantastic because even though you can think your horse hasn’t changed, the measurements can tell a completely different story! For anybody looking to get their horses fitter or watching their weight, this is a super way to do it.
“It’s so straightforward to do, too. Once you’ve got all your information inputted, it’s easy to keep it up-to-date and it really keeps your eye on your horse’s health.
“Any horse can come down with Laminitis, whether it’s an overweight native or an Arab like Ari. We need to break down the stigma attached to the disease and by taking part in the CARE study and learning more about it, we can do that.”
Lorraine and Ari are urging all horse owners to sign up to the CARE study. It’s simple, it doesn’t take much time and it could be the breakthrough needed to advance the knowledge we have of laminitis and other health conditions. However, without the support of Britain’s horse owners, these conclusions remain out of reach and Laminitis continues to be a serious threat to our horses.