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A new study conducted by the Laminitis Consortium suggests that soaking hay in summer temperature tap water makes it safer to feed to laminitis-prone horses and ponies.

The research, indicated hay soaked at 16C for 16 hours resulted in the greatest loss of water-soluble carbohydrates — which can cause laminitis.

The research was carried out by Dr Annette Longland of Equine Livestock and Nutrition Services, Dr Pat Harris of the Waltham Equine Studies Group and Clare Barfoot of Spillers.

Ms Barfoot said, “Despite this exciting study, soaking hay should always be seen as an additional safeguard. It’s crucial to have your hay analysed before feeding an animal with a high risk of laminitis.”