In late 2015 six veterinarians, one veterinary student from the United States, and 20 veterinary students from Honduras, provided care to more than 300 working equids during a trip to Southern Honduras.
Equitarian Initiative (based in Minnesota) organized the trip, with World Horse Welfare’s (in London) local offices in Choluteca providing support for field logistics and community relations. This is the fourth annual Equitarian Initiative trip to Honduras.
Going to a new village every day, the team conducted general veterinary and dental examinations, conducted dental examinations, provided and administered rabies and tetanus vaccinations, and performed castrations. Farriers and saddlers funded by World Horse Welfare also joined in, providing hoof care and saddlery equipment and adjustments to any horse needing help.
The people in the communities served rely on their horses for transporting both people and firewood. On this trip, the average horse stood 12 to 13 hands, had a body score condition of 1.5 to 2 on the 9-point scale, and weighed an average of 500 to 600 pounds.
“The biggest health issue we see is malnutrition,” says Equitarian Initiative Co-Founder and President Julia Wilson, DVM. “The body conditions of these horses are concerning, to say the least.”
According to World Horse Welfare, the average working horse in Honduras: