Cross-sectional survey of owner knowledge and husbandry practices, tack and health issues affecting working horses in Lesotho

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

10 Scopus Citations
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Author(s)

  • M. M. Upjohn
  • K. Shipton
  • T. Lerotholi
  • G. Attwood
  • K. L P Verheyen

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-318
Journal / PublicationEquine Veterinary Journal
Volume44
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

Reasons for performing study: To establish baseline parameters of equine health, owner knowledge and husbandry practices and tack against which benefits to local horses arising from an equine charity's training programme in Lesotho could be measured. Objectives: To describe and investigate associations between owner knowledge and equine husbandry practices, horse health and tack-related parameters prior to the start of the training programme. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was undertaken in the catchment area of students attending the first training course. Owners from randomly selected villages were interviewed about horse care using a standardised, structured questionnaire, administered face to face in local language. Horses were clinically examined and tack assessed according to standardised protocols. Results: Clinical examinations were performed on 312 horses and 287 owners were interviewed. Owners had variable knowledge of equine husbandry and limited understanding of appropriate primary and preventive healthcare. Equine health problems identified included ecto- and endoparasite infestation, mouth lesions, overgrown and unbalanced feet and tack-associated wounds. The majority of tack was in poor condition, dirty and ill-fitting. With the exception of below-average body condition score, no associations were found between key adverse horse-related clinical findings and owners reporting their horse as being 'unhealthy'. Conclusions: Working horses in Lesotho have a range of physical problems, many of which could be ameliorated through targeted owner education. With limited access to veterinary advice and scarce resources, improved availability of affordable local equine trade skills is key to improving equine health. Potential relevance: Findings could be used to inform and direct training programmes to maximise benefits to equine health and to serve as a baseline against which to monitor effects of educational and other interventions. © 2011 EVJ Ltd.

Research Area(s)

  • Developing country, Health, Horse, Husbandry, Survey, Tack, Working equine

Citation Format(s)

Cross-sectional survey of owner knowledge and husbandry practices, tack and health issues affecting working horses in Lesotho. / Upjohn, M. M.; Shipton, K.; Pfeiffer, D. U.; Lerotholi, T.; Attwood, G.; Verheyen, K. L P.

In: Equine Veterinary Journal, Vol. 44, No. 3, 05.2012, p. 310-318.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal