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The use of nutritional supplements in dressage and eventing horses

Agar, C.; Gemmill, R.; Hollands, T.; Freeman, S.L.

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C. Agar

R. Gemmill

T. Hollands

Professor of Veterinary Surgery


The aim of the study was to determine which types of nutritional supplements were used in dressage and eventing horses, and the reasons that owners used supplements. An online questionnaire was distributed through British Eventing and Dressage websites, to collect data on demographics of owners and their horses, supplements used and their opinion on health and performance problems. Data were evaluated using descriptive analysis, Sign and Fisher's exact tests for quantitative data, and categorisation of qualitative data. In total, 599 responses met the inclusion criteria (441 dressage and 158 eventing horse owners). Participants had 26.4 (3–60) (mean (range)) years of riding experience, owned 1.2 (0–10) horses and used 2 (0–12) supplements in their highest performing horse. The main health and performance issues identified for dressage were ‘energy/behaviour’, ‘lameness’ and ‘back and muscle problems’. The main issues for eventing were ‘stamina and fitness levels’,’ lameness’ and ‘energy/behaviour’. The main reasons for using supplements in their highest performing horse were ‘joints and mobility’, and ‘behaviour’ for dressage, and ‘electrolytes’, and ‘joints and mobility’ for eventing. Lameness and behavioural problems were significant concerns within both disciplines. There was incongruence between owners’ opinions of problems within their discipline and their reasons for using supplements.


Agar, C., Gemmill, R., Hollands, T., & Freeman, S. (2016). The use of nutritional supplements in dressage and eventing horses. Veterinary Record Open, 3(1), Article e000154.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 7, 2016
Online Publication Date Feb 8, 2016
Publication Date Feb 1, 2016
Deposit Date Feb 9, 2017
Publicly Available Date Feb 9, 2017
Journal Veterinary Record Open
Electronic ISSN 2052-6113
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Issue 1
Article Number e000154
Public URL
Publisher URL


Eventing e000154.full.pdf (799 Kb)

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