The Most Common Horse Conditions of 2022

Owning a horse can be extremely rewarding and bring joy to you and your family. Like other pets, they can feel very much part of your family and of course, they will require lots of care and attention to keep them fit and healthy.

However, even the most well looked after horses could become sick or injured and require veterinary care and treatment. In these instances, you may want to consider how you might pay for the veterinary fees incurred when treating your horse.

The emotional and financial aspects of treatment can be overwhelming. Therefore, for peace of mind, equine insurance might alleviate some of that worry leaving you to focus on your horses’ treatment and recovery.

Here at The Insurance Emporium, we have analysed our Top 5 Most Common Conditions for Disease and Accident in 2022, based on our customers’ claims, to reveal the average costs to treat these ailments. So, should you be on the fence about what value insurance might play, these are the reasons our customers buy insurance for their horses.

The average paid claim for ‘Veterinary Fees – Disease’

Top 5 Most common conditions:

Data range: 01.01.22 to 31.12.22

The average paid claim for ‘Veterinary Fees – Accident’

Top 5 Most common conditions:

Data range: 01.01.22 to 31.12.22

CEO of The Insurance Emporium, Francis Martin commented: “At a recent equine insurance providers forum with BEVA it was noted that due to inflation and the cost-of-living crisis, the fees for providing treatment have significantly increased. This is when horse owners will truly feel the value of insurance as the cost to treat even the least severe of conditions is considerably more than it was only a few years ago.

Martin continues: From our data, gastric ulcers are one of our highest claimed for ailments, with digestive conditions on a whole garnering the highest average claim we paid out in 2022 at £949.

When considering what equine insurance is right for you, you might look at it as if the worst-case scenario were to happen, could you afford to pay for their treatment, if not, ensure your insurance does cover for those types of cases. At The Insurance Emporium, we offer a range of insurance policies so that customers can select the level of cover that best meets the needs of their horse.”

Common conditions explained

You may already be familiar with some of the most common diseases affecting horses, but if not, here’s a quick rundown on some of those featured in our data:

  • Gastric Ulcers: Gastric ulcers are erosions in the lining (wall) of the stomach. Their severity can vary from an inflamed stomach lining to widespread erosion and bleeding. While sometimes there aren’t clinical signs, small changes such as weight loss and loss of appetite, dull, listless coat, and change in temperament are some symptoms to watch out for.
  • Kissing Spine: This is known by veterinary professionals as overlapping or impinging dorsal spinous processes and involves the bones along the spine from the withers to the point of the hip. With kissing spine these bones have a smaller gap between them or are touching causing pain. Symptoms of the condition may be picked up after back pain is noticed either during grooming or changes to the horse’s normal temperament and demeanour when working or being prepared to work.
  • Desmitis: This is the medical term for when the ligaments become inflamed and swollen. For horses, this tends to occur most often in the joints of the legs. Symptoms of desmitis may include inability to put weight on the limb, limping, behaviour changes, reluctance to stand, swelling and heat at the site of damage.
  • Arthritis: Like humans and other animals, horses are also susceptible to arthritis. Like us, it’s more commonly seen in elderly horses, although it can develop at any age. Years of wear and tear can lead to cartilage damage and as a result, osteoarthritis is the most common long-term condition of the joints. Signs of the condition include lameness, decreased performance, pain, stillness and swelling around the joint.

Horse owners will know their horse’s behaviour and general demeanour very well. However, some conditions can creep up on them, therefore it’s always advisable to seek medical advice from a registered vet at the first sign you think your horse is displaying symptoms or changes in behaviour that seem out of character.


No one wants to think about what could happen if their horse were to become sick or have an accident, but these are unfortunate risks when owning an animal. Understanding the costs associated with treating these ailments can help give owners an understanding of the potential costs they might pay when seeking veterinary care, on top of their horse’s existing everyday costs.

If you’re looking for peace of mind, take a look at our horse insurance to discover our range of policies – with several optional benefits you can tailor your policy, so it meets yours and your horses’ needs.

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. We make no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. We will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. We will not be liable for any loss, injury, or damage arising from the display or use of this information. This policy is subject to change at any time.

We offer a variety of cover levels, so please check the policy cover suits your needs before purchasing. For your protection, please ensure you read the Insurance Product Information Document (IPID) and policy wording, for information on policy exclusions and limitations.