Welcome to Day 3

Welcome to Day 3

Today we are focusing on Housing and Facilities.  This is an area that can have a major impact (negative or positive) on the welfare of the horse.  The Code will review many aspects of Housing and Facilities and outline the best practices to support the Five Freedoms.

We are having some great discussions so far, but allow me to challenge ourselves just a bit now.  Much of the information that we have about horse care has in fact been passed down by thousands of individuals over many generations.  Some of this information is correct.  Some of it is not.  Things that we take for “gospel” over the past have now been proven incorrect or show that we did not really understand the situation.  So, moving forward in our course, allow me to challenge our learning community just a bit more.

When we find ourselves saying things like “Well, everybody knows that x equals y.” or “I know that white hooves are softer than black hooves, so I won’t buy that one.” and other statements that are similar, let’s stop for a moment and think about it.  Is there evidence-based information to support that statement?  Is the information coming from a credible source of expertise?  Or is it “one person’s opinion”?

That was the challenge given to the Science Committee when the Code was revised for 2013.  Let us give ourselves the same challenge!  Is our opinion evidence-based?  Does it reflect the “new knowledge” that has been gained by research over the last few years?

This “stop and reflect” strategy is a great way to think about our own views on caring for horses and ensure that we are keeping an open mind for new information and applied information to support the welfare and health of our horses.