With the spring weather bringing with it lush, nutritious grass, the risk of colic increases for equines who may have faced very restricted turnout due to the wet winter weather.

Technically a symptom, rather than a disease, colic is the most common equine emergency and cause of death in horses worldwide. For horse owners, it is essential to recognise the early signs of colic and understand the steps needed to increase the chance of recovery for the horse. It is equally important for those owners who keep their horses at livery to have a care and emergency plan in place with the livery owner to avoid unnecessary delays in treatment.

Since 2019, the British Horse Society (BHS) and the University of Nottingham have been running a colic awareness campaign and free resource packs to provide easy to follow guidance on recognising the signs of colic and reducing the risks, can be found at www.bhs.org.uk/colic.

Photograph: Shannen Renouf - New Forest Pony