Petplan Equine, a leading UK specialist equine insurance provider, is encouraging horse owners to be more aware of how to avoid the potentially fatal condition, colic.

As part of this initiative Petplan will be at this year’s Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead, and you can win a pair of tickets to the show.

Visitors to the Petplan Equine stand at this year’s Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead (30 July-4 August) will be able to see a life-size model of the equine gut and discover more about the horse’s sensitive digestive system and the problems that can result in colic.

Colic is the term used to describe the symptoms of abdominal pain, which in horses are usually caused by problems in the gastrointestinal tract.  The symptoms can range from mild to severe, with the most severe generally requiring surgery and sometimes resulting in death. A healthy digestive system is one of the most important factors in preventing colic. Understanding how the system works and what can cause abdominal pain in horses is key in helping to prevent it.

Feeding little and often and a consistent diet with a good supply of clean, fresh water are the daily essentials. An effective worming programme and regular teeth checks by a vet or equine dentist must also be incorporated into any horse management programme.

Petplan Equine works with vets to provide its customers with expert advice on looking after their horses.

“At Petplan Equine we are passionate about the care of the horse,” explains head of marketing, Isabella von Mesterhazy, “and we want our customers to look to us for advice and information on how to care for their horses as well as on insurance. With the help of the Petplan Equine Vet of the Year Gil Riley, we have created this life-size model as we believe being able to see the horse’s very complicated digestive system will help people to understand what can create the problems that cause colic.”

A video of Gil Riley explaining the horse’s digestive system can be viewed on the Petplan Equine Facebook page.