Online survey delves into equine rehabilitation services in NZ

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New Zealand horse owners and caregivers are invited to participate in research exploring their views and experiences around equine rehabilitation services in the country.

Information provided through the 10-minute online survey will provide data for the research, being carried out by Julia Whitehead as part of her Master of Science degree in Veterinary Physiotherapy with the University of Liverpool in England and Massey University in New Zealand.

“My interest is equine rehabilitation and therapy in New Zealand, with a focus on equine industry participants’ experiences and perceptions of the effectiveness and value of physical and rehabilitative therapies for New Zealand horses and ponies,” she explains.

“Ultimately, my priority is to improve the health and welfare of horses and ponies in New Zealand.

“I would like to collect the views of all New Zealand horse industry participants.”

Through the research, Whitehead hopes to gain a better understanding of how horse caregivers value rehabilitative services and how they may contribute to horse health and welfare.

“A summary of the responses will be used to help you and other people in New Zealand’s equine industry with decision-making regarding the management of performance problems and the general health and well-being of horses and ponies.”

Whitehead, who is working under the supervision of Professor Chris Riley, says the survey is anonymous and those taking part must be aged at least 16.

She says the goal is to get a representative cross-section of the population involved with horses and ponies in New Zealand during the past three years.

“We would also like to hear from those who have chosen not to use the services.

“The information we gather will be published to educate people in the New Zealand horse industry about what physical and rehabilitative therapies are used, who is providing them, and how they contribute to health and welfare,” she says.

“This will enable all of us to make more informed decisions for our horses.”

The results will be collated into one or more scientific papers, which will be submitted for
publication in an academic journal.

There may also be conference presentations and equine industry presentations to enhance sharing of the conclusions of the research.

The survey can be found here.

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