Science & Equine

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Written by Isabeau Deckers

Image by: Johnny Hathaway

Welfare of the Racehorse During Training and Racing

The welfare of racehorses in training and competition can be compromised by the mismanagement of many processes. Lameness is usually identified as the major welfare concern. Previous studies on young racehorses (<3years) revealed that eighty-five per cent of the horses suffers at least one incident of injury or disease.

The main thought is that the design of suitable training programs depends on an understanding of the metabolic demands of the event. E.g. the sprint training should not be combined with long duration and distances for basic training and the trainings parameters should be managed by a periodized trainings schedule.

Expert opinion by Isabeau Deckers

This study is written in collaboration with a renowned racehorse trainer and veterinary professor and forms a chapter of the book ‘welfare in horses’ (-N. Waran). Thereby, this study gives us valuable insights into the welfare of racehorses, based on both high levels of expertise and science. Besides the trainings and environmental parameters, the primary role of the behavioural signs of issues in the horse, such as mood disturbances and reluctance to training, are established as well.

> From: Evans, Klower Academic publishers 8 (2006) 181-201. All rights reserved to Springer 2007. Click here for the online summary.

Image by: Grace Harris Racing