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The 3 F’s of Equine Welfare

Kate Hore RNutr (Animal). NAF

At the recent National Equine Forum (5th Mar 20), Roly Owers, Chief Executive of World Horse Welfare, discussed the social license of equestrianism and how that is relevant to all of us, from racehorse trainers to leisure riders1. The Five Domains model for animal welfare, of Nutrition, Environment, Health, Behaviour and Mental State, help us to understand that mental health is at least as important as physical fitness to animal welfare, and that nutrition plays an integral role to that2. But as horse owners what should we do?

The Five Domains model certainly can be applied to horses, with recent guidelines developed in racing3. However to put it in simpler terms Roly stressed the importance of the 3 F’s of Welfare for horses – Freedom, Friends and Forage. Horses evolved as herd dwelling, grazing animals in secure social groups, and the more we can replicate that in their daily regime the happier and healthier our horses will be.

We know that practicalities of modern life can challenge the ideal, but whatever your horse’s regime applying the 3 F’s will support their physical and mental wellbeing.

NAF Five Star Optimum is a concentrated, palatable, easy to feed concentrated balancer to provide essential micronutrients and balance the forage diet for all horses and ponies.

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