Horse owners who enrol in a Well Horse Scheme devised by animal health company Intervet UK (formerly Hoechst Roussel Vet) and feed company Dodson & Horrell may be entitled to reduced premiums.

The scheme is being piloted by equine vet Jane Nixon from her Buckinghamshire practice Nixon & Marshall and has the support of a number of equestrian insurance companies.

The initiative hopes to improve knowledge and standards of preventative care among horse owners.

This, in turn, should reduce minor health problems such as colic and lameness.

Owners who subscribe to the scheme are entitled to an annual medical check for their horse, that includes dental, hoof, heart and lung examination and flu and tetanus vaccinations. The horse's stables and pasture will also be assessed.