Milbourn Equine Vets COVID-19 (Coronavirus) January Update

Following the recent ‘stay at home’ and lockdown orders issued on 4th January 2021, we are continuing to offer a full a range of services for our patients, whilst adhering to COVID-19 safety guidelines.

As a practice, we have adopted a contactless approach to appointments. We will continue to provide the same high-quality services with the same friendly, caring people, just delivered in a way that protects our clients and teams from local outbreaks of COVID-19.

We are working in smaller teams to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and therefore lead times for appointments may be a little longer than usual. Please bear with us at this time – we will do our best to make your appointment as smooth as possible.

Guidance for attending your appointment:

To keep everyone safe, please help us by:

  • Maintaining social distancing
  • Wearing a face covering where possible. If this is not possible, please contact us before your appointment so that we can discuss how best to support you
  • Sanitising your hands before and after your appointment 
  • Using contactless payment methods wherever possible. For everyone’s convenience and safety we may ask for full or part payment at the time of booking your appointment
  • Maintaining a safe distance from the practice entrance. If you are on foot, please ensure you are wearing suitable outdoor clothing to remain warm in cold weather spells. If you arrive by car, please remain inside the vehicle and call the practice when you enter the car park.

When attending an appointment with your horse:

  • Be aware that our teams may be in full PPE
  • Please phone us when you have entered the car park to inform us you have arrived
  • If you are bringing your horse to us, please phone us from the car park when you have arrived. Please keep your horse loaded and remain in your vehicle until a member of the team comes to collect your horse. You may be asked to remain with your vehicle during your horse’s examination/treatment if social distancing cannot be maintained
  • Once the consultation has been completed, a member of our team will return your horse to you in a safe way, talk you through the appointment and arrange for payment to be made if not already done so. 

We have made these changes as our patients, clients, and staff’s health and well-being is our number one priority.

Thank you for your continued understanding during this time. We remain committed to delivering the best care for your horse, and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Our contact details can be found below. 

Clicker training your horse

Clicker training is a tool that uses the principles of positive reinforcement. The horse is rewarded for a desired outcome or behaviour. It can be a great tool to bond with your horse. A click denotes desired behaviour, and it tells the horse that they did the right thing, and they will be given a treat.

Clicker training is useful because it blends classical conditioning (the horse connects clicks with treats) and trial-and-error learning (the horse tries to determine what type of behaviour leads to treat). Clicker trained horses are curious and inquisitive, and this form of training is a rewarding way of learning for your horse.

Many people are drawn to clicker train their horse because it is simple. To start clicker training, you need to “load the clicker,” which means you need to convince your horse that the clicker’s sound will yield a positive outcome. A common method to do this is to work with your horse with a clicker in one hand and some treats in the other.

Your horse will learn best through short lessons to avoid boredom or annoyance. By keeping the sessions short, you should be able to work this into your regular care routine. Your horse will learn that the sound of the click means a treat is coming.

How this training can be used once the horse is clicker trained

If your horse does something you like, you can mark that moment with a distinctive click. The click is paired with something the horse wants, usually a treat.

The click enables you to communicate with your horse and lets them know what he or she did that earned the reinforcement. Your horse will then offer the behaviour more often to earn the click and get more of the reinforcer.  By gradually increasing the reasons for which we click, we can teach the horse to do almost anything he is physically and mentally capable of doing.

Discuss with your vet

Some horse owners use clicker training when struggling to solve behaviour problems rather than addressing undesirable behaviors and underlying motivations. Ignoring underlying issues can yield further problems. Also, poor training can cause irritation, aggression, and inappropriate behaviors in horses. We recommend that you speak to your vet before embarking on clicker training.

To learn more about clicker training, please click here https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-advice/how-to-introduce-clicker-training-to-your-horse

Important Information

Please note we will be implementing a price change from

11th December 2020

A price list is available in the practice. If you have any questions, please speak to a member of the team.

Thank you for your continued support. 


Antibiotic awareness week

Supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO), Antimicrobial Awareness Week aims to increase awareness of global antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and to encourage best practices among clinicians, policy makers and also the public to avoid the further emergence and spread of drug-resistant infections.

Antibiotics have had an incredibly positive impact on human healthcare, animal health and animal welfare, enabling clinicians to treat conditions successfully that were previously fatal. However, there are an increasing number of bacteria that are resistant to the antibiotics we have available.

There are increasing reports of bacteria that are resistant to all antibiotics and these mechanisms can be passed to other bacteria. This could mean that conditions previously curable will no longer be treatable so it’s important to re-evaluate how we use antibiotics and reduce any unnecessary prescribing.

Here are some frequently asked questions that might be on your mind as a pet owner …

How can we protect the ability of antibiotics to kill bacteria?

The overuse of antibiotics kills susceptible bacteria, leaving behind the resistant mutants and allowing them to thrive in the absence of competition. Therefore, we should adopt an approach of using antibiotics only when they are indicated rather than ‘just in case’.

My vet has always prescribed antibiotics for the same condition in the past?

As in human medicine, the veterinary profession is continually learning and improving treatment protocols. In particular, we have an increased understanding of conditions which are self-limiting and don’t require antibiotics such as some forms of diarrhoea.

If my vet doesn’t prescribe antibiotics, what happens if things get worse?

Following any consultation your vet will recommend treatment which may or may not include drug therapy. Your vet will also provide you with information on how to monitor your pet to ensure things are getting better in the expected time frame and not worse. If your pet is not getting better as expected then they will be re-examined to review the diagnosis and the treatment plan.

Don’t worry, if your pet does need antibiotics we are still able to prescribe them and will work with you to ensure the best possible treatment is provided for your pet.

Holiday Season Opening Hours – 2020

With Christmas 2020 around the corner and so much uncertainty we wanted to ensure we had our opening times for the festive period in place for you. Although our practices are closed, we are still here, providing our usual out of hours service, so you can always contact us if required. 

Please see below our opening times over Christmas and New Year.



Christmas Eve: 08.00– 2.00pm

Christmas Day: Closed  

Boxing Day: Closed

27th December: Closed

28th December: Closed

New Years Eve: 08.00am – 5.00pm

New Years Day: Closed



Christmas Eve: 08.30am – 2.00pm

Christmas Day: Closed  

Boxing Day: Closed

27th December: Closed

28th December: Closed

New Years Eve: 08.30am – 5.00pm

New Years Day: Closed



Christmas Eve: 08.30am – 2.00pm

Christmas Day: Closed  

Boxing Day: Closed

27th December: Closed

28th December: Closed

New Years Eve: 08.30am – 5.00pm

New Years Day: Closed



Christmas Eve: 10.00pm – 2.00pm

Christmas Day: Closed  

Boxing Day: Closed

27th December: Closed

28th December: Closed

New Years Eve: 10.00am – 2.00pm

New Years Day: Closed


If your horse requires a prescription or specific food during the holiday period, we kindly request that you request this well in advance.

If you require any further information, please contact us.

If you require any emergency care please call your local branch, or for more information, visit out emergency visit page, here.


One of our dedicated vets here at Milbourn Equine is in the running to scoop a prestigious’ Amateur Rider of the Decade’ award from leading national publication Horse and Hound.

Katie Preston, 33, who is based at our Hawkhurst practice, is one of four riders competing for the top prize which, due to Covid-19, will be presented via a virtual awards ceremony on December 10.

In 2018, Katie fulfilled a lifetime ambition by competing with her horse Templar Justice at the world-famous Burghley Horse trials in Lincolnshire and, later that year, she was named Horse and Hound’s ‘Amateur Rider of the Year’.

Now, she is on course to go even better by being crowned ‘Amateur Rider of the Decade’.

Katie, who has been riding horses since junior school and had her first pony at the age of 10, beamed: “To be named as ‘Amateur Rider of the Year’ in 2018 was incredible experience and to now be nominated for ‘Amateur Rider of the Decade’ is absolutely amazing. It’s a huge thrill.”

She is quick to share the spotlight with Templar Justice, or TJ as he’s affectionately known, with the pair having risen through the equestrian world ranks together.

Katie added: “I have had TJ since he was two and we’ve just got better and better together.

“Over the past 10 years, we have forged such a good partnership and risen up through the levels together.

“There have been some fabulous highlights along the way, such as competing in the Burghley Horse Trials, which was just brilliant. I was so excited to be there.

“I’ve also competed at Pau and Luhmuehlen which, like Burghley, are rated as five-star events on the European equestrian circuit. The only five-star event I have so far missed out on is Badminton.“The Coronavirus lockdown in the spring put a stop to that but I’ve got my fingers crossed I’ll make it to Badminton in 2021 and complete the set.”

Clearly, Katie is in no mood to settle back into the saddle and take an easy ride from now on, even though she admits it’s tough combining her full-time work as a vet with her life-long passion for competing.

She said: “I definitely live by the motto of make it happen’. I might work full-time but I love to inspire people by showing you can always find time for things that make you happy and my competing does just that for me.”

You can vote for Katie Preston by visiting: https://www.futureevents.uk/horseandhoundvoting/shortlist


Horse owners are being invited to take advantage of a castration clinic being held by a leading equine vet practice, as well as ensuring their animal is microchipped ahead of new laws which come into force this month.

Milbourn Equine, which has practices in Ashford, Hawkhurst, Canterbury and Rye – and now conducts equine visits to the Isle of Sheppey – will be holding the clinic at their Ashford branch on Monday, October 19, Where the vets are offering both standing and knock down colt castrations at a great price.

Jenny Lawrenson, equine manager at Milbourn, said: “Autumn is the perfect time to consider castration of colts. There are many benefits of castrating your horse, including behavioural and management reasons.

“We have run these clinics for a number of years and they have always been very popular.”

As part of the clinic held at Milbourn’s Ashford practice in Church Road, Sevington, vets will advise on the best procedure for horses, taking into consideration their temperament, size and age.

The vets are also able to carry out microchipping on horses during the clinics, which becomes a legal requirement this month. (October)

In addition, Milbourn will be holding a gastroscope clinic on Tuesday (October 6) at its Ashford practice, in which horse owners are invited to take their animals for investigation.

Milbourn’s Hawkhurst branch is offering their gastroscope clinic day on October 28th in Bodiam.

Gastric ulceration is common among the equine world, with recent studies showing 98 per cent of race horses and 53 per cent of leisure horses affected.

Symptoms to look out for include poor performance, changes in behaviour, weight loss and poor coat condition.

To book colts in on the castration clinic, or for more information about the gastroscope clinic or microchipping horses, call Milbourn Equine on 01233 500 505.

For more information on Milbourn, which is part of Linnaeus, visit: www.milbournequine.co.uk.


World Heart Day – 29 September 2020

We celebrate World Heart Day today on 29 September 2020. This is the world’s biggest awareness-raising platform for cardiovascular disease (CVD) which is accountable for nearly half of all non-communicable disease deaths in humans.

Did you know that heart conditions affect our horses too?

In the first instance, if you have concerns that your horse has symptoms, please contact us for an examination.  Here are some of the signs to look out for…

  • Exercise intolerance and poor performance
  • Difficulty breathing or not being able to catch their breath
  • Coughing, especially during or after exercise or if they’re excited or stressed
  • Fluid accumulation under the skin of the chest, abdomen and limbs
  • Fluid accumulation within the abdomen
  • Weight loss

If you find your horse is showing any of the above symptoms, please make sure you speak to us straight away. Unfortunately, heart disease cannot be cured, however it can be managed. Contact us if you are concerned.

Animal activities to keep your children occupied during the summer holidays

It can be a challenge keeping the kids occupied during the summer holidays, especially if you are opting for a staycation this year, so here are five ideas that may help you out!

Draw a picture

Get the crayons and paper out and encourage your little one to become a budding artist by drawing a picture of your pet or their favourite animal.

Take some photographs

Most mobile phones these days have a pretty good camera, so why not set a photo challenge? Perhaps it’s capturing photographs of butterflies, insects and birds in your garden, or trying to capture the perfect portrait of your pet. Promise to print the best results off for them to put into an album or frame – it will incentivise the children to really make the effort to capture that perfect shot.

Visit a farm

If you’re in the countryside you may see farm animals in fields locally, but city dwellers can often visit urban farms for their fix of the farmyard. Find out more about farming – what the farmer does, what the animals eat and how they’re cared for.

Write a story

Let their imagination run wild – ask them to write a story about your pet and the adventures they have when everyone is asleep. The more exciting, the better!

Make animal facemasks

Use some card as a base, draw an outline, then cut bits out and stick bits on. Paint tiger stripes or a cute pink doggy nose. Use some elastic or ribbon attached at the sides to fit small heads.

Paperless Invoices

In a bid to reduce our carbon footprint and become more environmentally friendly, we have started the process of sending out our invoices by email. For those clients that we do not have email addresses for, we will continue to send paper copies in the post. However, we would like to encourage all of our clients to provide us with an email address for future correspondence.

To update your details, please email your local practice with your name, your horses name and email address.

Sevington: reception@milbournequine.co.uk

Hawkhurst: hawkhurst@milbournequine.co.uk

Canterbury: canterbury@milbournequine.co.uk

Rye: rye@milbournequine.co.uk