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Obesity problem in horses for leisure

At least one in five horses used for leisure is overweight or obese, research revealed today.

A pilot study by Nottingham University's School of Veterinary Medicine and Science showed that obesity in horses are likely to be just as common as among people. Excess weight can lead to conditions including laminitis and equine metabolic syndrome.

The study results are published online in the journal Veterinary Record. As part of the research, 500 owners who kept their animals for leisure only were sent questionnaires. Of the 160 returned, one in five showed their horses were either overweight or obese.