Reasons for performing study: Information is scarce as to how horses are kept and managed in the general horse population of Great Britain.
Objectives: To characterise the demographics of horses in Great Britain and assess their care (with particular reference to the respiratory system).
Methods: Horse owners were surveyed using a self-administered postal questionnaire. These owners were selected randomly, following geographical stratification, using 2-stage cluster sampling of veterinary practices and their clients.
Results: The overall response proportion to the survey was 68.2%. An investigation of nonresponse bias detected minimal differences between responders and nonresponders. A summary of the demographic characteristics, feeding and management of horses in a sample of the general population of Great Britain is presented.
Conclusions and potential relevance: Horses are kept under a great variety of conditions with some potentially exposed to high concentrations of organic dusts associated with stabling. This information is relevant to their health and welfare.