Objective To establish the prevalence of health disorders reported by horse owners registered with veterinary practices in Australia.

Design and method

Mailed questionnaire-based study of horse owners in Australia conducted in 2001.


Data were obtained for 3901 horses belonging to 621 owners. The most prevalent health disorders were non-laminitic lameness (13.0%), skin disorders (6.1%) and behavioural disorders (4.5%). Prevalence of health disorders varied among different age, breed and sex categories within the study population, and disorders were more prevalent in male and older horses.


The most frequent disorders reported by owners were lameness, skin disorders and behavioural disorders. The disease profile was similar to that described in other owner reported studies conducted in the UK and USA.