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Photo: Manuel Gutjahr


Untersuchung der frühen Nutzung von Pferden und möglicher Maßnahmen zur Vermeidung einer Überforderung oder Überlastung
Coordinating Institute
Leibniz-Institut für Agrartechnik und Bioökonomie e.V. (ATB)
Universität Leipzig
Freie Universität Berlin
Graf Lehndorff-Institut für Pferdewissenschaften
Dr. Michael Köhler, Tierklinik Wusterhausen

Allocated to research program
Within the framework of HorseWatch, the influence of the horse breed and training conditions, the age at the beginning of use and the husbandry system on the health, behaviour and well-being of horses used very early in riding and racing will be evaluated. The investigations are carried out as comparative studies in which warm-blooded and thoroughbred horses (riding horses, gallop horses and trotting horses) of different ages at the beginning of training and in different housing systems (single stall vs. group housing) are examined in different horse-keeping breeding and training stables. The training will take place according to a standardised procedure corresponding to the type of use of the horses. Physiological, ethological, sport-medical-internistic and orthopaedic parameters are collected. Some of the horses remain at a stud farm as breeding horses and can thus be examined in the long term beyond the study with regard to possible late effects of a very early start of training. In addition, concepts for the veterinary assessment of the horses physical and mental resilience will be developed. The results of the study will serve as a decision-making aid and thus help to improve animal welfare in horse husbandry and to avoid overtaxing young horses in the initial training phase. In addition to the actively involved research institutions, an internationally active expert commission will be formed to validate the results achieved. This commission will be available in an advisory capacity and thus contribute to the acceptance of the research results achieved and the resulting conclusions beyond Germany.

Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft (BMEL)
Funding agency
Bundesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung (BLE)
Grant agreement number