Can alternative grazing systems lead to happier horses?


Horse owners are often looking for better and more natural ways to keep their horses, who may be stuck in the mud, overweight or bored.

An alternative grazing system might be the answer, and the topic is up for scrutiny at the latest free Welfare Wednesday webinar from World Horse Welfare.

Would you like to provide your horses with more choice and enrichment? Do you have a serious mud problem? Or do you have a horse that is prone to laminitis, tends to be overweight or has arthritis?

Find out how to remedy these issues and more in the webinar, hosted by equine researcher Tamzin Furtado and Sue Hodgkins, Centre Manager at World Horse Welfare’s Hall Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre.

There are many reasons for considering alternatives to traditional paddocks when turning horses out. Many owners who have set up alternative grazing systems feel that their horses are happier and healthier as a result. They also report gaining greater enjoyment from caring for and watching their horses in their new environment, and from caring for their land in a different way. A few of the reported benefits include:

  • More hours spent eating
  • Fewer calories consumed
  • More exercise
  • Lower risk of behavioural problems
  • Reduced risk of conditions such as laminitis, equine metabolic syndrome, and gastric ulcers
  • Greater enrichment
  • Less mud


Tamzin Furtado
Tamzin Furtado

Tamzin Furtado is a researcher based at the University of Liverpool where she studies equine welfare, management and horse-human relationships. She is particularly interested in finding ways to keep horses that meet their welfare needs, promote good horse-human relationships and are good for the environment. Tamzin’s PhD focused on the management of obesity in leisure horses, helping owners to find ways of managing their horses’ weight while maintaining high levels of well-being.



Sue Hodgkins
Sue Hodgkins

Sue Hodgkins joined World Horse Welfare in 1997, starting as Head Girl at Overa Farm. She later became Assistant Centre Manager for both Overa Farm and Hall Farm and then, in 2007, she took on the role of Centre Manager at Hall Farm, a position she still holds. Before joining the charity, Sue trained for her BHS qualifications at a large equestrian centre and it was there that she became involved with carriage driving. She subsequently spent seven years on the driving circuit, competing at both national and international events with pony pairs, horse pairs, and teams of four.

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