You are here: Home > Our Work > Welfare & Care > Wounds Project

Wounds Project


Due to the nature of this topic, there are wound images. Warnings will be provided before more serious wound photos are shown so please don’t worry!

The British Horse Society and the University of Nottingham are excited to be launching a new joint project to generate essential information on equine wound healing. This research project is being managed by the University of Nottingham and your information will be submitted directly to them. The British Horse Society is supporting the University by hosting the project details on our website.

We would like to invite you to take part in this research. Before you decide we would like you to understand why the research is being done and what it would involve for you. 

Why are we doing this project?

Wounds are one of the most common emergency problems in the horse, but with a wide range of types of injuries it can be difficult to know when to call the vet or what to expect as the wound heals.  Presently, not all the information is available for some of the fundamental questions such as:

  • Which wounds need to be seen and treated by a vet?
  • How long will different types of wounds take to heal?
  • Will the horse return to his normal work?
  • What will the injury and scar look like when it has healed?

There is a lack of research evidence on the common types of wounds seen in the general horse population and on how different types of wounds heal including which factors may delay or help wound healing. Once the results are all analysed, both organisations will be working together to develop new, freely-accessible educational resources to help with decision-making on wounds (similar to our REACT Now to Beat Colic campaign). Our end goal is to help improve how we recognise and care for wounds and improve horse welfare.

We need you to get involved!

Due to the fantastic support and engagement horse owners generously gave to the University of Nottingham for their colic research, another ‘citizen science project’ is being undertaken. 

To help us find the answers we need your help and we invite anyone who owns or cares for a horse which has suffered a wound to take part. The closing date for the completion of the wound forms is Thursday 1 August 2019.

Tell us all about it!

It can be a worrying time if your horse becomes injured, but if they do, please tell us about it by completing the first form below. We want to know about any type of wound regardless of its size and whether it has been treated by the vet or not so we can capture information on the range of injuries. 

It will be really important to keep us up-dated on the healing process by completing the relevant forms below. The forms will also ask for photos of the wound so before submitting your details please check out the photo guide. If the horse is unsafe, then please do not attempt to take the photos or put yourself in a position of danger. 

Wound Forms

The forms have been created using Google forms, which can be completed on a phone, tablet or computer. The forms can be submitted through Google forms if you have a Google account. Don’t worry if you don’t have an account with Google; you can either follow the simple steps of creating an account or using the Adobe forms, which will be available soon.

Form 1:

Details of equine, initial wound assessment and initial first aid/veterinary treatment 
This form is to be completed after the owner/carer first notices the wound on the horse and the actions taken following any initial first aid given by the owner/carer and/or by a vet*.
*Please only include any veterinary treatment given within 24 hours of noticing the wound. For any veterinary treatment given longer than 24 hours after injury, please input this information into form 2b.  

Form 2a:

Owner treatment and up-date on wound healing 
This form can be completed multiple times (if needed) after the owner/carer treats the wound themselves, for example after the owner/carer changes the bandage or washes the wound. This form can also be used to give a regular update on the wound healing progress (we recommend every five to seven days until the wound has healed). 

Form 2b:

Veterinary treatment 
This form can be completed any time the horse is visited by a vet and receives treatment after 24 hours of the wound first being noticed. For example, this could be if the vet completes a bandage change, a scheduled routine follow up visit, or the vet is called due to complications with the wound (e.g. infection, slow rate of healing, proud flesh).  

Form 3:

Wound outcome 
Please complete this final form once you believe the wound has completely healed (apart from any remaining scarring). This will only need to be completed once and will contain the chance for you to enter the prize draw. Thank you for providing all of your up-dates. 

Worried about your horse?

The research team cannot provide advice on any wounds and injuries. If you are concerned about your horse we strongly advise you contact your own vet to ensure continuity of care and your horse’s best welfare. 

Protecting your data 

The University of Nottingham and the BHS takes the privacy of your data very seriously which is why you’ll be asked to read and tick a number of boxes at the start of the surveys to give your informed consent before participating. We understand this can be a little tedious but don’t let this put you off as the survey is a lot more interesting! 

All the information collected is stored securely and analysed by the University of Nottingham research team. The data will be used to write scientific papers and develop educational resources to share the evidence with others. No horses or owners/carers will be named in any publication or educational resources. We would like to use some photos for publications, educational resources or to advertise the study to others. When you submit your photos you will be asked if you want to do this and we will only use photos where consent has been given. 

Free prize draw

As a thank you for your time and commitment for being a very important part of this project there is the option to enter a free prize draw on your final wound report (form 3). Details of the fantastic prizes available will continue to be added over the year. 

If you are one of the lucky winners of the free prize draw, your contact details will be provided to The British Horse Society who are sponsoring the prizes. Your details will only be used to send your prize to you and will not be stored.

Terms and conditions apply.

Further information

Additional details regarding the study are available from here
The lead researcher, Richard Birnie can be contacted on email at:, or project supervisor Professor Sarah Freeman 

What would you do? 

As horse owners/carers there may come a time where we will have to deal with a wound injury. Imagine you have just brought in your horse from the field and you are faced with the wound below: 

  • Should you call a vet?
  • What are the risks of complications with wound healing?
  • How long will it take to heal?
  • How long will the horse be off work?
  • What will the scar look like once it has healed?


Photo credit: Charlotte Pardon

Please wait while we complete your membership

Processing your details...