A survey conducted by SPILLERS™, has revealed that horse owners are concerned about their horses’ expanding waistlines during lockdown and are also worried about fizzy behaviour. The survey results have prompted SPILLERS to highlight their library of online resources and produce additional information to help guide and support owners on keeping their horses trim, calm and healthy.
SPILLERS ran the online survey in mid-April to find out more about the effects of lockdown on horses’ routines. 54% of respondents said their biggest feed related concern during this time was weight gain and 41% were worried about laminitis.
While 65% of respondents had not changed their management routine during lockdown, 12% said they were now turning their horses out 24/7 and an additional 9% had introduced strip grazing or a grazing muzzle to manage grass intake.
25% of those who had been previously riding had now stopped and in answering the question about feed-related concerns 21% of respondents were worried about fizzy or excitable behaviour, whether on the ground or when riding.
“We organised the survey to see where and how people might need support and guidance for their horses during this very difficult time,” said Clare Barfoot RNutr, Marketing and Research and Development Director at SPILLERS.
“Obesity and laminitis are serious issues, especially now that the grass is growing in abundance and in particular 24/7 turnout coupled with reduced exercise can significantly increase the risks. Now that the BEF has revised its advice and more people are likely to start riding again, excitable horses and fizzy behaviour may also become a bigger concern. We are now actively signposting owners towards our collection of online blogs, tips and advice to help owners minimise the risk of weight gain and reduce excitability in their horses.”
*The Coronavirus routine changes survey was conducted on Facebook in April 2020 and generated 372 responses from UK horse owners.