The Society of Equine Behaviour Consultants recommends you use Veterinary Physiotherapists (recognisable by the qualifications MCSP ACPAT Category A) to treat your horse and that you use Registered Farriers regularly to ensure your horse is comfortable with healthy well balanced feet, which is especially important if your horse is not shod. The ‘barefoot’ unshod horse with feet left in their ‘natural’ state is particularly at risk from uneven hoof wear and associated problems. See www.acpat.org and www.farrier-reg.gov.uk
The Society of Equine Behaviour Consultants recommends that you use a Veterinary Surgeon or Equine Dental Technician working with your Veterinary Surgeon to regularly check your horse’s health and teeth.
The Society of Equine Behaviour Consultants recommends that you use a Society of Master Saddlers Qualified Saddle Fitter to fit your tack on purchase and to regularly check your tack (including bits and bridles etc!) for safety and fit. See www.mastersaddlers.co.uk
The Society of Equine Behaviour Consultants recommends you use BHS Approved Establishments and BHS Registered Instructors for help with your riding. See www.bhs.org.uk
It is tempting for those on a tight budget or large commercial establishments to try to save money by not using such properly qualified professionals to help with their horse’s routine care, health and welfare, but an uncomfortable unhappy horse can be extremely dangerous, and sadly it can cost a great deal more not to, should physical problems be left undiagnosed and untreated and anyone be injured as a result of the problem behaviour. This also raises major welfare issues.
If you are concerned about the welfare of any horse, whether neglect or lack of appropriate intervention or inappropriate work, handling, riding or training, including inappropriate management of problem behaviour or inappropriate methods of behaviour modification, see www.rspca.org.uk, www.scottishspca.org www.bluecross.org.uk, www.worldhorsewelfare.org or www.bhs.org.uk.
If you and your horse have been involved in an accident, please report it to the British Horse Society (BHS) at www.horseaccidents.org.uk. This will help the BHS gather statistics to use to prepare advisory leaflets, liaise with other organisations interested in accident prevention and to support their educational campaigns to try to prevent similar accidents in the future.
Much of the challenging behaviour seen by Registered Equine Behaviour Consultants is a ‘cry for help’ from a horse in pain or distress and many horse behaviour problems can be relatively easily solved by finding the right professional to diagnose and treat the problem.
Sometimes a simple change in management, companions or daily routine is all that is required and some little tips on equine social behaviour and handling or riding technique can often be sufficient to resolve serious and potentially very dangerous handling and riding problems.