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Animal-based parameters, the assessment method and the classification1

 
Areas of concern Assessment method Classification
Respiratory problems
    Abnormal breathing Evaluation of the breathing manner: increase in depth and effort of breathing No | Yes
    Coughing Each cough is counted No | Yes
    Nasal discharge Evaluation of the nasal discharge: seromucous, purulent, food or hemorrhagic/blood were considered as abnormal No | Yes
BCS BCS is evaluated with the Carroll and Huntington (1988) scale 1–5, with 1–2 indicating a poor body condition, 3 normal, 4–5 fat/obese BCS 1–5
Locomotion Evaluation of horses walking (20 meters) and trotting (40 meters) in a straight line on a firm underground No irregularities | irregular | lame
Back pain Evaluation of the response to manually superficial and deep palpation of back musculature and spinal processus of thoracolumbal spine No disorders | sensitive/tense | painful meaning moderate to serious (behavioural) responses on pressure like kicking, biting etc.
Mouth
    Mouth corners Inspection and palpation of mouth corners on wounds, fissures and redness No irregularities | irregularities
    Gums Inspection and palpation of mouth corners on wounds, fissures and redness No irregularities | irregularities
Ocular discharge Inspection of ocular discharge: dirty eye with (dried) mucopurulent discharge from the corner of the eye and/or a visible eye discharge of > 1cm No | Yes
1Full protocol can be downloaded at http://edepot.wur.nl/238619.



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Management- and resource-based parameters included in the final model of the risk factor analysis

 
Parameters Levels
Too high BCS
Current use of horse Recreation1│Instruction│Competition│Breeding│Other
Former use of horse Recreation│Instruction│Competition│Breeding│Other
Breed Pony │Cold blood│Warm blood│Thoroughbred│Unknown
Age of horse, yr 0–4 │4–18 │ > 18
Height at wither, cm ≤ 120│120–160│ ≥ 160
Concentrates daily No │Yes
Type of concentrate No grains│Grains
Chance on roughage contamination3 No│Yes
Housing, area per horse Less than (2 x height at withers)2 │more than (2 x height at withers)2
Closing stable at night Never │with bad weather │partly │always
Enrichment material in stall Yes│No
Deworming All horses at same time │only a selection of horses each time
Length whiskers ≥ 4 cm │1–4 cm│ ≤ 1 cm
Farm in possession, yr 0–5│5–15│15–25│ ≥ 25
Horse in possession, yr 0–1│1–2│2–3│3–9│ ≥ 9
Locomotion disorders
Age of horse, yr 0–4 │4–18 │ > 18
Current use of horse Recreation1│Instruction│Competition│Breeding│Other
Horse in possession, yr 0–1│1–2│2–3│3–9│ ≥ 9
Saddle-maker Yes│No
Back disorders
Current use of horse Recreation1│Instruction│Competition│Breeding│Other
Gender Mare│Gelding│Stallion
Type Pony │Cold blood│Warm blood│Thoroughbred│Unknown5
Height at withers ≤ 120│120–160│ ≥ 160
Type of concentrate No corn│Corn
Farm type Riding school│Boarding stable│other2
Irregularities on mouth corners
Age of horse, yr 0–4 │4–18 │ > 18
Former use of horse Recreation1│Instruction│Competition│Breeding│Other
Housing, area per horse Less than (2 x height at withers)2 │more than (2 x height at withers)2
Work, h/wk 0│1–3│4–6│7–13│ ≥ 14
Direct sunlight in stall No│Yes
Changing coat4 No│Yes
Irregularities on gums
Specialist None│Physiotherapist│Homeopath
Farm type Riding school│Boarding stable│other2
Ocular discharge
Age of hors, yr 0–4 │4–18 │ > 18
Height at withers, cm ≤ 120│120–160│ ≥ 160
Possibilities for social contact None│vision│sniffing│grooming│full body contact
Free movement, h/wk 0–3│4–14│15–49│ ≥ 50
Number of horses per housing area 1│2│3–10│ ≥ 11
Air outlet sufficient│insufficient│not present
Horse in possession, yr 0–1│1–2│2–3│3–9│ ≥ 9
1Includes horses kept as companion animal.
2Includes farms for breeding, training, competition.
3Roughage may get contaminated when it is provided on the ground within the area the horse is stabled.
4Severe (normal) shedding of the coat through which the body condition cannot be assessed easily.
5Type of the horse as determined according to their breed.



View Full Table | Close Full ViewTable 3.

Body condition score horses1

 
BCS Number of horses Percentage
1. Very poor 5 0.2
2. Poor 188 6.4
3. Normal 2195 74.7
4. Fat 528 18.0
5. Very Fat 23 0.8
Total 2939 100.1
1Method of Carroll and Huntington (1988).



View Full Table | Close Full ViewTable 4.

Final multivariate logistic regression model for the occurrence of a (too) fat body condition (BCS 4 or BCS 5)

 
Risk factora P-value Level 1 Level 2 Odds ratiob Confidence interval
Current use of horse < 0.001 Recreation Breeding 3.07 1.59– 5.92
Recreation Instruction 2.06 1.46– 2.91
Competition Breeding 2.05 1.02– 4.10
Former use horse breeding 0.042 No Yes 1.49 1.01–2.20
Former use horse competition 0.017 No Yes 1.52 1.06– 2.18
Type 0.003 Pony Warm blood 1.58 1.08– 2.31
Pony Thoroughbred 3.07 1.39– 6.76
Cold blood Thoroughbred 4.12 1.31– 12.99
Age of horse, yr 0.008 4–18 > 18 1.77 1.21– 2.60
Height at withers, cm < 0.001 < 120 120–160 1.91 1.07– 3.40
< 120 > 160 3.73 1.81– 7.67
120 -160 > 160 1.96 1.34– 2.86
Concentrates on a daily basis 0.003 No Yes 1.75 1.22– 2.51
Type of concentrate 0.010 No grains Grains 2.45 1.23– 4.89
Chance on roughage contamination < 0.001 No Yes 0.45 0.30– 0.70
Housing, area per horse 0.025 Less than (2xheight at the withers)2 More than (2xheight at the withers)2 0.70 0.52- 0.96
Closing stable at night 0.038 With bad weather Partly 0.60 0.38– 0.93
With bad weather Never 0.56 0.33– 0.95
Enrichment in stall 0.003 Yes No 1.49 1.14– 1.94
Deworming 0.020 All horses at same time Selection 0.46 0.24– 0.90
Length whiskers, cm 0.020 > 4 1–4 1.61 1.06– 2.44
> 4 < 1 2.07 1.01– 4.25
Farm in possession, yr 0.013 ≥ 25 0–5 0.42 0.23– 0.75
15–25 0–5 0.52 0.31– 0.86
Horse in possession, yr < 0.001 0 > 9 0.42 0.20– 0.89
1 > 9 0.40 0.25– 0.64
2 3–9 0.61 0.39– 0.93
2 > 9 0.31 0.19- 0.52
3–9 > 9 0.51 0.35– 0.74
aAll risk factors in the final model were significant (P < 0.05).
bOdds Ratios (ORs) are given for pairwise comparisons between classes (levels) of risk factors. Level 2 is the reference level. When value 1 is not part of the 95% confidence interval, the corresponding OR is significant (P < 0.05). When OR < 1 the risk is decreased in comparison with the reference level. When OR > 1 the risk is increased in comparison with the reference level.



View Full Table | Close Full ViewTable 5.

Final multivariate logistic regression model for irregular locomotion or lameness

 
Risk factora P-value Level 1 Level 2 Odds ratiob Confidence interval
Age of horse, yr < 0.001 0–4 4–18 0.16 0.06– 0.38
Current use of horse < 0.001 Recreation Competition 2.14 1.49– 3.07
Competition Breeding 0.55 0.32– 0.94
Competition Instruction 0.42 0.29– 0.61
Horse in possession, yr < 0.001 1–2 2–3 1.59 1.01– 2.51
1–2 > 9 0.59 0.40– 0.87
2–3 3–9 0.59 0.39– 0.89
2–3 > 9 0.37 0.23– 0.59
3–9 > 9 0.63 0.47– 0.84
Saddle-maker 0.003 No Yes 1.62 1.20– 2. 90
aAll risk factors in the final model were significant (P < 0.05).
bOdds Ratios (ORs) are given for pairwise comparisons between classes (levels) of risk factors. Level 2 is the reference level. When value 1 is not part of the 95% confidence interval, the corresponding OR is significant (P < 0.05). When OR < 1 the risk is decreased in comparison with the reference level. When OR > 1 the risk is increased in comparison with the reference level.



View Full Table | Close Full ViewTable 6.

Final multivariate logistic regression model for back pain disorders

 
Risk factora P–value Level 1 Level 2 Odds ratiob Confidence interval
Current use of horse < 0.001 Recreation Breeding 3.41 2.02– 5.75
Recreation Instruction 0.54 0.41– 0.70
Recreation Other 2.70 1.30– 5.62
Competition Breeding 3.87 2.28– 6.56
Competition Instruction 0.61 0.45– 0.82
Competition Other 3.07 1.49– 6.33
Breeding Instruction 0.16 0.09– 0.27
Instruction Other 5.05 2.43– 10.52
Gender 0.013 Mare Gelding 1.28 1.04– 1.57
Breed 0.021 Pony Thoroughbred 0.46 0.26– 0.79
Cold blood horse Thoroughbred 0.27 0.09– 0.80
Warm blood horse Thoroughbred 0.49 0.28– 0.84
Height at withers, cm < 0.001 < 120 120 -160 0.28 0.14– 0.56
< 120 > 160 0.14 0.07– 0.29
120 -160 > 160 0.50 0.38– 0.67
Type of concentrate 0.004 No corn Corn 0.54 0.35– 0.83
Farm type 0.004 Riding school Other 2.87 1.55– 5.30
Boarding stable Other 2.54 1.43– 4.81
aAll risk factors in the final model were significant (P < 0.05).
bOdds Ratios (ORs) are given for pairwise comparisons between classes (levels) of risk factors. Level 2 is the reference level. When value 1 is not part of the 95% confidence interval, the corresponding OR is significant (P < 0.05). When OR < 1 the risk is decreased in comparison with the reference level. When OR > 1 the risk is increased in comparison with the reference level.



View Full Table | Close Full ViewTable 7.

Final multivariate logistic regression model for irregularities at mouth corners

 
Risk factora P-value Level 1 Level 2 Odds ratiob Confidence interval
Age, yr < 0.001 0–4 4–18 0.09 0.01– 0.70
0–4 > 18 0.06 0.01– 0.45
4–18 > 18 0.64 0.49– 0.84
Housing, area per horse 0.007 Less than (2xheight at withers)2 More than (2xheight at withers)2 1.42 1.13– 1.77
Work, h/wk < 0.001 0 1–3 0.40 0.20– 0.81
0 4–6 0.35 0.19– 0.62
0 7–13 0.22 0.13– 0.40
0 ≥ 14 0.16 0.08– 0.31
1–3 7–13 0.56 0.33– 0.94
1–3 ≥ 14 0.40 0.22– 0.73
4–6 7–13 0.65 0.50– 0.84
4–6 ≥ 14 0.46 0.30– 0.71
aAll risk factors in the final model were significant (P < 0.05).
bOdds Ratios (ORs) are given for pairwise comparisons between classes (levels) of risk factors. Level 2 is the reference level. When value 1 is not part of the 95% confidence interval, the corresponding OR is significant (P < 0.05). When OR < 1 the risk is decreased in comparison with the reference level. When OR > 1 the risk is increased in comparison with the reference level.



View Full Table | Close Full ViewTable 8.

Final multivariate logistic regression model for ocular discharge

 
Risk factora P-value Level 1 Level 2 Odds ratiob Confidence interval
Age, yr < 0.001 0–4 > 18 0.30 0.17– 0.55
4–18 > 18 0.35 0.26– 0.48
Height at the withers, cm 0.016 < 120 120–160 1.87 1.08– 3.24
< 120 > 160 2.29 1.28– 4.10
Possibilities for social contact 0.012 Vision Sniffing 1.45 1.05– 1.99
Sniffing Grooming 0.51 0.32– 0.82
Grooming Full body contact 2.31 1.07– 5.01
Free movement, h/wk 0.001 0–3 15–49 0.57 0.36– 0.89
0–3 ≥ 50 0.38 0.22– 0.64
4–14 ≥ 50 0.53 0.33– 0.84
Number of horses per housing area 0.001 1 2 0.45 0.22– 0.92
1 3–10 0.39 0.18– 0.87
2 ≥ 11 4.39 1.46– 13.17
3–10 ≥ 11 5.07 1.84- 13.98
Air outlet 0.019 Sufficient Not present 1.53 1.10– 2.13
Horse in possession, yr 0.009 0–1 2–3 2.83 1.42– 5.65
1–2 2–3 1.97 1.17– 3.31
2–3 3–9 0.50 0.30– 0.81
2–3 > 9 0.39 0.23– 0.67
aAll risk factors in the final model were significant (P < 0.05).
bOdds Ratios (ORs) are given for pairwise comparisons between classes (levels) of risk factors. Level 2 is the reference level. When value 1 is not part of the 95% confidence interval, the corresponding OR is significant (P < 0.05). When OR < 1 the risk is decreased in comparison with the reference level. When OR > 1 the risk is increased in comparison with the reference level.