Nottingham Trent University (Brackenhurst) held their Welfare conference recently presenting an excellent day of talks and demonstrations that explored the practical application of research aimed at improving the sustainability and welfare of the horse and its environment. A very full and informative day was enjoyed by all delegates.
Professor Carol Hall, NEWC Director, who organised this event introduced the conference and welcomed all delegates to the University.
The day was led by an exciting programme of speakers who are all leaders in their respective fields. Jane Myers, Equiculture, led presenting ‘A System for Sustainable Horse Keeping’ discussing how to use the natural and domesticated behaviour of horses, combined with good land management practices to create a healthy and sustainable environment for your horses and property.
Lauren Emerson (NTU BSc Equine Sports Science) gave her debut speech on the practice and attitudes regarding trimming of equine vibrissae (sensory whiskers) in the UK and Germany.
Kym Griffin (NTU Academic Associate) spoke about sleep patterns in the horse.
The second session focussed on the ridden horse and began with Hayley Randle from ISES who spoke about Putting Research into Practice.
Just before lunch Anne Bondi, successful rider and trainer, who founded The Saddle Research Trust presented ‘The Impact of Saddle Fit on Performance and Welfare’.
After lunch the third session began with our NEWC Chairman Nicolas De Brauwere (Redwings Horse Sanctuary) who talked about the Welfare Crisis and the need to raise public awareness of the welfare issues that affect equines.
Jeremy Kemp-Symonds (Veterinary consultant at Bransby Horses) spoke about the special veterinary challenges in the welfare industry and how biosecurity and quarantine measures are of paramount importance.
Gillian Carlisle (CEO British Thoroughbred Training Centre) gave an animated presentation on an insight into ‘Life after Racing’ discussing the issues associated with retraining these horses for a new role in life.
Lastly, but worth the wait, Jim Green (BARTA) who is Watch Commander and Animal Rescue Specialist with the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service covered various types of equine rescues; the journey so far: Development of rescue protocols, challenges and future applications for the equine industry.
The practical demonstrations were then held at the Brackenhurst equestrian Centre and included:-Working from the Ground (Charlotte Wittbom); Re-training the Racehorse (BTRC)
Rescue Horses at NTU