LONGER periods of turnout may mean less risk of soft-tissue injuries, a study has shown.
The six-year research, into non-elite performance horses, found those turned out for 12 or more hours a day had a 25% lower instance of such injuries.
Fitness level is known to correlate with injury risk, and spikes in acute workload have been shown to increase the occurrence of injury. Chronic workloads can help condition the tissues to cope with stress.
Previous studies have focused on the impact of these different types of workload – such as the acute to chronic workload ratio in elite horses – but this new research is thought to be the first to consider the effect of general activity levels.
Lead researcher Jesslyn BrykLucy, resident vet at Centenary University Equestrian Center in New Jersey, US, told H&H she had been inspired to undertake the work by her observations in practice.
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