Giving our horses the quality of life they deserve
Quality of life is so important to us here at Remus. We aim to give all of our residents as comfortable a life as possible, but can we really know what makes our horses happy?
A group of researchers from the UK, New Zealand and Australia are working to identify accurate ways to measure a horse’s emotional wellbeing, so that we can all keep better track of our horses’ welfare.
The researchers have reviewed two areas that could reflect their wellbeing; equine behaviours and physical measures, such as heart rate.
They found that behaviours were more reliable in assessing welfare than physical measures, although these should still be taken into account. Behaviours such as: feeding behaviour, interaction with other horses and with humans, and interest in the environment around them most clearly indicated their emotional state. For example, when they were happy, the horses had more friendly social interactions.
Basic welfare requirements include food, water and shelter, but this study reinforces the fact that horses’ needs are much more complex than this.
At Remus our residents have access to whatever their individual needs require. They have deep beds, heat lamps and pain relief, if needed, for arthritis or other issues to keep them stress free and relaxed. We also have music and give self-selection herbs, and of course regularly check for dentition issues, take worm counts, feed high-calorific, high-fibre mashes and weigh them weekly to ensure we are keeping on top of their weight.
You can read more about the study into quality of life here.
If you would like to sponsor one of our animals, you can do so here.