Laminitis trigger factors

In addition to being overweight, there are other possible triggers of laminitis. We list what you should look out for...

- A dietary ‘insult’ that has changed the fermentation in your horse’s hind gut (eg a very large meal of starch)

- Badly shod feet, uneven weight bearing, or repetitive trotting on hard ground. These all affect blood flow to the foot over time. Traumatic causes could be thought of as being similar to persistently hitting your thumb with a hammer, and the resultant blood blister and inflammation; mechanical causes could be thought of as similar to getting pins and needles because
of ill-fitting shoes

- Starch overload, post-colic surgery and liver problems which all cause inflammation in the body. This may result in endotoxaemia, which affects blood flow rapidly, often within 12 to 48 hours – the onset of laminitis is then dramatic and sudden

- Physiological stress caused by being cold or in pain. Latest research suggests laminitis is strongly connected with hormones. If a horse or pony is under stress, his cortisol levels go up, and this rise, over a long period, can cause insulin resistance. This, together with him being ‘comfortably cuddly’ will make him more susceptible to laminitis

Horse passports

horse passport

Not sure about horse passports? Here a re a few handy hints:

  1. A horse may not be transported without his passport – this includes travelling to shows or even a few miles for a hack. Movement ‘on foot’ is fine. Anyone without a passport has three hours to produce it!
  2. Owners of horses without passports face a fine
  3. It’s a legal requirement to return your passport to the Passport Issuing Organisation (PIO) when your horse dies. They may return it, overstamped, for a fee
  4. A passport is not proof of ownership – if you’re buying a horse, make sure you verify ownership yourself and get a receipt
  5. All horses requiring a passport after 1 July 2009 need to have a microchip implanted by a qualified vet. This applies to foals and to adult horses who need a new passport
  6. If you buy a horse you have only 30 days to register yourself as the new owner, or face prosecution
  7. Livery or other yard owners will need to make arrangements with horse owners for passports to be available within the three-hour time limit in the event of an inspection
  8. Your horse's passport also states whether your animal can be used for food at the end of its life. You can declare that your animal isn’t intended for human consumption by filling in the appropriate section of the passport. This can’t be changed later.

For more information visit

Who can sell your horse?

Essentially no one can sell your horse without notifying you but if your horse has escaped you will need to claim ownership within four working days.

The law (legislation) is “The Control of Horses Act 2015”. This came into force on 26 May 2015 for horses in England. The act has brought together several different laws that were quite complex. There were also many loopholes in these laws that that were exploited by less than honest horse owners. The Control of Horse Act 2015 has safeguards in place to protect responsible owners and includes the following:

   If your horse escapes from his field you'll need to claim ownership within four working days

  If your horse escapes from his field you'll need to claim ownership within four working days

  • Allows land owners to remove a horse left on their land to a safe place immediately
  • Police and owners of the horse must be notified by the land owner within 24 hours of the horse being removed
  • If no one claims ownership of the horse in four working days, the land owner can then decide what to do with the horse (this includes selling)
  • If you realise your horse is missing you should contact your local police (using their non-emergency number) so you can be reunited



Equine Insurance – our top tips

Insurance is a service offered to protect you against unpredictable costs. With any luck you’ll never need the cover you’ve paid for, and you could argue that putting all those premiums in the bank instead would leave you with a handy sum to fund the occasional setback. But, in the worst-case scenario, a single catastrophe could bankrupt you.

Whether you choose to insure or not, or opt for a basic or a ‘belt-and-braces’ policy, the key is to decide just how much risk you’re happy to live with and, before you get lost in piles of leaflets and internet downloads, take a minute to identify exactly what you need.  Here are our top tips:

Use our top tips to get the best policy for your horse

Use our top tips to get the best policy for your horse

  1. Ask to see the terms and conditions before taking out your policy, if there’s anything you don’t understand, call them up for further explanation.
  2. Have your horse’s passport number and new yard details to hand as you may be asked for this information.
  3. Ask what the different options of your policy cover as this can differ between companies.
  4. When taking out vet bill cover check to see if hospitalisation fees are covered or if this is an added extra.
  5. Some insurers add a fee of 10% on to the policy if you choose to pay monthly so check to see if yours does this.
  6. Online discounts apply so if you need anything explaining before buying online call who to get your questions answered first, then go online to take the policy out.

Who to insure with?

There are lots of reputable insurance companies and here are juts a few. Be sure to ring round to find the right deal for your horse.

Petplan –



NFU Mutual –

Shearwater –

Horse & Rider –

E&L –

Equi cover –