NEF Great Weight Debate: what’s weighing on your mind?

NEF weight debate BR Farm
OVERWEIGHT: Left, Shetland pony ‘Dale’ was significantly overweight when he was taken into World Horse Welfare’s care, but through diet and exercise, he was brought back to a healthy weight and this was maintained throughout his long life. (FW52-521NN)

AHEAD of the National Equine Forum’s (NEF) special interest webinar, The Great Weight Debate (equine) in January 2021, the organisers are inviting anyone with an interest in horses to submit questions about what’s weighing on their minds about this important topic.

The Great Weight Debate (equine), at 7pm on Wednesday, January 27, 2021, will be taking a practical look at different perspectives on the obese horse, pony and donkey from across the equestrian sector, including the views of a horse owner, livery yard owner and coach, an equine welfare officer, an equine vet, a nutritionist and a competition judge.

Anyone with an interest in horses, ponies or donkeys is being invited to submit the most pressing question they have on the topic of equine obesity and weight management, directed at any member of the panel or for panel discussion. The panel includes equine vet Dr Lucy Grieve, showing judge David Ingle, equine nutritionist Liz Bulbrook, livery yard owner and coach Beth Maloney, equine welfare officer Penny Baker and horse owner Helen Gale. The session will be chaired by renowned equine nutritionist Professor Pat Harris, with the support of Dr Tamzin Furtado, a social scientist with a special interest in human behaviour change for animals.

“If you are itching to ask one of our panellists a question about equine weight, now is your chance,” said Pat Harris. “Our ultimate aim is to identify what may be preventing horse owners and carers from managing horse weight effectively, and how we can all work together to overcome any of the obstacles we may uncover.”

As many individual or overarching questions as time allows will be put to panel members during the debate. A Q&A section will also be added to the NEF website. Conclusions and possible pathways for change will be presented at #NEF21.

You can submit your question via the website: The deadline for the submission of questions is January 15, 2021. You will need to register and listen to the webinar if you wish to hear if your question has been selected for an answer. There will also be an opportunity to submit questions during the live panel discussion.

The NEF Great Weight Debate is sponsored by The British Horse Society; The Horse Trust; Redwings Horse Sanctuary; SPILLERS™ and World Horse Welfare.

Tickets are priced at £5 for the webinar and there is no booking fee. Bookings can be made at

To find out how you could enjoy the privilege of becoming a sponsor or corporate friend of the National Equine Forum, email:


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