Frequently Asked Questions

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The Free “Equizone” visit scheme is intended to make significantly cheaper the performance of the routine work necessary to keep your horses safe, sound, fit, well, legal and generally healthy.

On a designated day, once a week, we visit areas of Lincolnshire to carry out routine work without making a charge for the visit to the premises.

Routine work is considered to be work which can be done by most members of our veterinary team, and not the more specialised work which is usually done by only one or two of our more experienced veterinarians. Routine work is considered to be:

  • Horse/foal vaccinations
  • Microchip insertion
  • Foal and /or adult identification drawings
  • DNA hair plucks and blood sampling for typing/DNA testing
  • Assessment of the teeth and routine dentistry
  • Suture or staple removal from well-healed wounds
  • Skin problems and taking scrapings for laboratory tests.
  • Dressing changes
  • Routine health checks especially those concerning loss of condition
  • Three stage insurance examination
  • Some revisits; and some repeat injections such as Dectomax.
  • Laminitis rechecks and repeat blood sampling for ACTH (Cushings); and Insulin. Some CEM swabs and/ or EVA blood samples from brood mares.

If you are unsure if the work you require is covered by the scheme, please do not hesitate to speak to one of our equine staff before you book the visit. In very general terms: We are unable to include sedation for clipping, dentistry or the farrier in the Equine Visit scheme. Sedation is usually quite quick, but unfortunately the procedures can on occasions become unduly prolonged, and so ruin the day for clients expecting a visit later in the day.

Examination for purchase (5 stage examinations) are excluded, as this is a specialised procedure, performed by our more experienced vet and usually takes a while.

Visits to sick or injured animals which are covered by insurance, where an insurance claim is likely or is already being made are excluded. The cost savings are aimed at saving our regular clients money, and not enabling the insurance companies to make more profit.

JMB Measurements are always performed at the surgery.

Gelding horses cannot usually be done on an Equizone visit as the procedure is not always straightforward; the operation requires care and is frequently time consuming. Often young horses are involved; and they can be difficult to handle, which is why they are being gelded.

A pet microchip is a tiny computer chip that’s about the size of a grain of rice. It contains a unique code that matches up to your pet’s details.

Microchipping a horse is a quick and simple procedure. The chip is inserted, using a needle in the back of the neck so it doesn’t move – it takes seconds.

Horses can be checked for a microchip using a handheld electronic device, called a scanner. When this is waved over the horse’s neck, the scanner will recognise the unique information held inside the chip.

A passport is a compulsory measure and is a small booklet or smart card that identifies your horse, pony or donkey by its height and species and holds your information and consent as to whether they can be used for human food when they die.

Your pet’s passport always needs to be with your animal and is required when a vet treats them and when you want to hand over ownership to someone else. There’s an unlimited fine if you can’t show a valid horse passport.

The passport issuing organisation (PIO) need to be contacted if there are any changes with the passport. They must be contacted within 30 days to notify them of:

  • any change in ownership
  • a horse’s death


When your horse passes away, their passport needs to be returned to the PIO that issued it, who will then update the records.

Your PIO needs to be told when you microchip your horse so that both are linked.

The central equine database (CED) is a database that holds all of the information on your horse. This includes your information as the keeper, your horse’s passport and which PIO it is registered with, as well as the microchip details.

This database provides a digital stable service which allows you to check your horse’s data is up to date, report your horse as missing or stolen, set status’ and alerts on the national chip checker and make sure that any horses that are for sale are for sale legally.

Microchipping is a quick procedure, but it does involve a needle so is likely to be uncomfortable for your horse for a few seconds, much like when they have their vaccinations.

If you think your horse has had a reaction to a microchip, contact your vet straight away.

By October 2020, all horses, ponies and donkeys in England, Scotland and Wales must be microchipped.

As of that date, owners of horses must have registered their pet’s microchip details with their passport issuing organisation (PIO) with details stored on the central equine database (CED). 

If your horse is already microchipped, be sure to let your PIO know. You can check to see if your passport and microchip are linked by heading to and typing in your horse’s microchip details. 

If they’re linked, your horse’s details will come up and it will tell you which PIO they’re registered with. If the PIO doesn’t show up, it could mean that your microchip isn’t registered with your passport, so you’ll need to get in touch with your PIO and let them know.

The CED logs all domesticated horses, ponies and donkeys, allowing the police and local authorities to reunite lost or stolen horses with their owners more easily and trace the details of abandoned horses to help improve equine welfare in the UK. 

On a more practical level, this also makes it easier to rehome horses and hand over ownership. The CED will also allow owners to flag their horse as missing or stolen. 

Horse owners are also required to keep their pet’s details up to date with the database under the new law.

Owners who do not get their horse microchipped, passported and on the CED could face a fine of up to £200.

If you rehome your horse to someone else, you must give the new owner the correct microchip registration paperwork and passport so they can contact the database and register as the horse’s new owner.

A new owner can enter a horse’s microchip number into the CED which then allows them to check that the passport is registered to the horse. The new owner then has 30 days to notify the PIO of their new details.

Horses must be microchipped before they go to their new homes under the new law that officially comes into effect in October 2020. 

The breeder should be the first registered keeper of the horse. Breeders should also pass on correct microchip and passport paperwork to the new owner when the horse goes home. 

If a breeder has not microchipped and registered the horse before you take them home, and cannot give you evidence to show the reason for the delay, walk away.

Whenever you buy or rescue a horse, you should ask your vet to scan them on your first visit to make sure that the chip corresponds with the paperwork you’ve been given.  Errors can and do happen easily, so always make sure the chip and paperwork match.

No, the person who primarily cares for the horse and keeps them in their home is called a ‘keeper’, not an ‘owner’.

The horse’s microchip must be registered to the ‘keeper’, who may not always be the owner.

How do I check if my horse’s microchip details are up to date?

The best thing to do is to check on and type in the microchip number. This will tell you which database the chip is registered with

If you move and have a change of address or name, don’t forget to update your horse’s details too. 

To do this, get in touch with the microchip and passport database that holds your horse’s details. Depending on which database your horse is registered with, you might be able to do this over the phone or online, or you may have to do so by post.

There are two types of lice found in the UK horse population. The most commonly encountered is Damalinia; a chewing louse of about 5mm in size – they can be seen with the naked eye. There is also the much smaller (2mm) and more rase Haematopinus which is a yellow coloured louse that sucks blood from the host. The whole life cycle of the louse takes place on the host; adults lay eggs from which larvae hatch that develop into adult lice, all within about 14 days. Both are usually found in the dense hair especially around the mane and tail. Particularly native breed horses with thick winter coats seem to be preferred by lice. Horses are often intensely itchy (puritic), restless, rubbing and sometimes have flaky skin as a result. Any horses can be affected but it is more common in the very young, old or immune suppressed (Cushings disease!). If your horse is itchy during the winter months check for lice!

We ask that if your horse is insured that you let the treating vet know at the time of treatment onset please and your excess be paid at that time.

We are happy to take a retrospective payment from your insurance company providing you speak to your insurance company and obtain a claim form.

If there are likely to be any problems that you can foresee with a potential claim please let us know early in the treatment process.

Insurance contracts are between you as an owner and your insurance company so we expect you to cover all costs should the claim not be valid.

If you have any insurance queries please contact us at and a member of our insurance team will be in touch in due course. (Please include the animal name and your surname in the email subject so we can easily locate your file on our system.)

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Call: 01673 842 448