ONE of Hampshire's best-known veterinary practices has warned that many horses in the county are getting too fat.
Gillies Moffat, a director of Seadown Veterinary Servies in Frost Lane, Hythe, said a "significant percentage" of equines seen by vets were overweight.
He said it was partly the result of owners working longer hours, leaving them with less time to exercise their horses.
Gillies added that the wetter and warmer climate had resulted in an abundance of grass, making it more difficult for owners to control their horses' weight.
He was among the speakers at a meeting organised by Seadown to highlight the importance of ensuring horses and ponies are a healthy weight.
quine nutritionist Clare MacLeod urged owners to keep monitoring and assessing their animals.
She added: "They should measure, record and adjust the diet accordingly, rather than being influenced to make changes due to season, friends and marketing.
"Obesity is a real welfare issue and we need owners to be vigilant about their horses' weight."
Earlier this year the Blue Cross said many horses and ponies were "allowed" to become overweight, resulting in the animals developing painful conditions such as laminitis.
It warned: "Ponies in particular have evolved to survive on a fibre-based diet and usually do not need the volume of food we offer."
In 2018 a Yorkshire vet said his practice was having to put down about 30 horses and ponies each year because they were grossly overweight.
The Seadown event raised more than £150 for the Horse Trust.
It included a talk entitled Animal Rescue and Beyond by Hannah Buteux and Jim Green from the British Animal Rescue and Trauma Care (BARTA).
The association provides training and advice to people involved in the rescue of animals.
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