NATIVE PONY owners in the north east of Scotland have been urged to take part in a new Laminitis study which could determine region-specific management practices.

Laminitis is an inflammatory condition of the tissues (laminae) bonding the hoof wall to pedal bone in the hoof, and can often recur for individual horses, with significant welfare implications for owners. It is linked to over 7% of equine deaths in the UK.

Scotland’s Rural College researcher, PhD student Ashley Ward, has asked owners of native-breed ponies across the north east of Scotland to complete an online questionnaire about the way they manage their ponies, as part of a collaboration between SRUC, WALTHAM Petcare Science Institute and the University of Aberdeen’s Rowett Institute.

Ms Ward said:“Results from the survey so far have highlighted region-specific management practices that owners employ to manage their ponies. Such findings could inform laminitis management in the future. Unsurprisingly, the Scottish weather also appears to have a strong influence over how we manage our ponies.”

It is hoped the research, which is also supported by the Roland Sutton Trust and World Horse Welfare, will help to establish suitable management strategies in order to reduce the occurrence of PAL. This would provide valuable information for vets and owners and could greatly improve the welfare of horses and ponies.

Ms Ward is looking for the owners of Northern European native-breed ponies aged four years and over, with no previous diagnosis of PPID (equine Cushing’s disease), to take part in the study.

If you are interested in getting involved, or if you would like more information, please contact Ashley on email: or telephone: 01224 711026.

Alternatively, you can complete the online survey at: