An equine health and nutrition event organised by The British Horse Society's Manchester committee proved a success at Ryder's Farm, Kearsley. The event, which was supported by Gilliver's Veterinary practice and Caroline Dickens from Baileys Horse Feeds was attended by more than 60 local horse enthusiasts.
Visitors were split into groups with workshops focusing on different aspects of health and nutrition to prevent laminitis - a disease that affects the feet, causing pain and limiting the horse's mobility.
The workshops included discussing the causes of laminitis, most effective preventative measures, how to spot the signs, appropriate feeding to meet workload needs and fat scoring. Donations on the night were also made to the BHS grass sickness campaign in connection with the Equine Grass Sickness Fund and the Animal Health Trust. The BHS is supporting pilot tests of a new vaccine, which could eradicate this condition.
Welfare officer for the BHS Manchester committee Helene Todd said: "It is very important to regularly monitor your horse's condition throughout the year, and fat scoring is an excellent way to do this.
"Horses naturally fluctuate their weight throughout the year, and to prevent serious ailments such as laminitis, it's important that we take responsibility for the condition of our equines, rather than just saying - oh he's always been like that. Fat scoring is a new, hands on way to assess the horse by the amount of body fat it holds and rating it accordingly. It is a very effective tool in managing our horses and ponies and helps prevent laminitis when done regularly."