Horse care: getting the basics right

Farriers are one of the key horse carers - horse's hooves need trimming every six to eight weeks (ph

Farriers are one of the key horse carers - horse's hooves need trimming every six to eight weeks (photo: Ingram Publishing, Getty Images) - Credit: Getty Images/Ingram Publishing

The British Horse Society is hosting a welfare conference to explore the best care for horses

As a horse owner or carer, there is an overwhelming amount of information, advice and products out there. From specialist magazines and websites to social media and your friends down the yard, everyone has a different opinion on what’s best for your horse. It can be easy to get bogged down in expensive food supplements, shiny tack and fancy rugs, but are you getting the fundamentals right for your animal’s care and training?

The British Horse Society Welfare Conference, an annual event held over two days this month, will tackle this issue head on. Industry leaders will provide horse owners and carers with the knowledge to ensure they can meet their horse’s welfare.

Sadly, there are too many people who take on horses who don’t have the skills and knowledge required to look after them properly. People buy or take on horses with the best intentions – sometimes to take them away from a situation where they aren’t getting the care they need, or often for their children. Unfortunately, this can result in welfare concerns that charities like the BHS can support owners with.

It isn’t just a case of grooming and feeding a horse, they need many aspects of care. Horses need to have their hooves checked every six to eight weeks and have them trimmed. Poor or non-existent hoof care can result in lameness, so it’s important for a horse to have regular visits with a farrier.

And just like humans, horses need a regular inspection by a dentist. If a horse doesn’t have access to an equine dentist it can result in an inability to chew its food properly – creating further health problems down the line such as digestion issues and in some instances colic, which can be fatal.

Veterinary surgeon and equine dental technician, Chris Pearce, is a leader in the field of equine dentistry and at the BHS conference will discuss the importance of regular dental checks for horses, and the impact that lack of care can have on the overall health of a horse.

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Dean Bland will speak on both days about getting farriery and hoof care right for the horse. Dean has more than 16 years’ experience, and was part of the Olympic Equestrian Support Team, providing care at the Rio games – checking the hooves of some of the most famous horses on the planet.

Other topics to be discussed include saddle fitting, methods of effective and ethical training, worm control and emergency care for horses.

The British Horse Society Welfare Conference, Horse Care and Training: Are We Getting the Fundamentals Right? will be held at Towcester Racecourse, Northamptonshire on September 20 and 21 (the second day will be at a scientific level).

To find out more, visit or call the welfare team on 02476 840517