Researchers at the University of Edinburgh, in Scotland, are seeking participation from equestrians around the world in a survey about forage and horses.
Maria Wilhelmsson, a MSc student at the university, hopes to investigate how owners and managers view forage and what current forage-feeding routines look like.
“The main purpose of the survey is to gain more knowledge in horse owners’ current situations,” she said.
Wilhelmsson said that while there is a strong consensus in the equine scientific and veterinary community about forage being beneficial for horses in terms of health and mental well-being, some owners are still reluctant to feed “more fibrous feedstuff and forage and less sugar and starch.” With the survey, she said, the research team hopes to find out what owners’ current feeding routines look like and evaluate their opinions of and knowledge about forage and forage feeding. This could allow them to identify ways to apply researchers’ current understanding of forage in horse diets in real-world stables.
Also, she said, “by making the survey in three different language—German, Swedish, and English—and distributing it in several countries, we can also compare the different circumstances in the different countries.”
The survey will remain open until Jan. 31, 2017.
Interested horse owners can complete the survey at edinburgh.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/forage-survey.