Equine Illness and Accidents

Equine Illness and Accidents

In the last 2 years, FMG has paid over $3.8 million in equine claims. While not all accidents and injuries are avoidable, there are some things you can do to minimise the risk. We’ve found that horse lameness plays a huge part in our horse losses, contributing to 1 in 4 of all equine claims.


Lameness is the most common cause of equine claims. While there are many ways a horse can go lame there are some simple things you can do to help keep your horse sound. If you have any concerns about lameness, have your
horse checked out by your farrier or vet as continued exercise can aggravate it. Use the NZ Farriers Association to find a farrier near you.

Maintain healthy hooves

Most lameness can be related to hoof problems. Regular appointments with a farrier will ensure hooves are trimmed and balanced. A balanced foot will reduce strain on tendons and ligaments and prevent injury. Experts also recommend picking your horses hooves daily. Allow time for the horse to warm up and cool down before and after exercise. This allows the muscles to get ready for exercise. As a method of cooling the horse down, you can hose it with cool running water.

Keep your paddocks and stables safe

At least 5% of claims involve horses being cut on sharp

  • Ensure the stable is safe and well cleaned. It should be free of holes in the flooring, wires, nails, broken
    fence panels, or any objects that the horse might run into.
  • Keeping your paddocks free from debris and with adequate fencing will minimise the risk of injuries and
    of the horses getting out.

Supplement rich feed, especially in spring

Ensure your horse has a nutritious diet and maintains a healthy weight. Diseases such as laminitis/founder could result in lameness. This can be caused by a rich pasture diet or new feed they may not be used to.
In spring consider using grazing muzzles to slow consumption and yarding with hay during daylight when the grass is richest.