What to expect

Before your appointment

On arrival

While your horse is in the hospital

When your horse is discharged

Before your Appointment

Confirmation of Appointment

We will send you a letter to confirm the date and time of your appointment. This will include directions to the Leahurst Campus, showing the location of the Equine Hospital. We will also attach clinical and financial consent forms, as well as copies of our general information and financial leaflets.

Consent Forms

Please read in full the Consent and Financial Consent forms (you will receive these from reception when you arrive) and complete as much information as possible. The Reception team will be happy to answer any questions you may have when they go through the consent forms with you.

Equine Passports

Please remember when transporting your horse you must travel with your horse's passport. Please also check whether your horse's passport has been signed out of the food chain (usually section IX of the passport); if this section is not signed then the medications we are able to give your horse may be restricted. If you do not have the passport, we will give you a form to complete and enter this information into your passport later. Please note that you are then legally responsible for entering the information onto the passport. If you are unsure whether your horse has been signed out of the food chain or not please just ask our reception team (or your referring vet prior to referral) and we will be happy to check for you.

Tack & Feed

We supply sterilised rugs and head collars as well as basic foodstuffs, but please bring any specialist feeds or supplements your horse needs.

MRI Scans

MRI cases are typically in the hospital for a full day (from 9.30am to 4.30pm). Please be aware that it is not always possible to receive the scan results the same day. A written report to your own vet will normally be sent within 5 working days of discharge.

Lameness Investigations

If your horse is visiting the hospital for a lameness investigation, please bring your horse's tack and wherever possible, the usual rider.

On Arrival


On arrival at the hospital, please leave your horse in your trailer or horsebox and go to Reception so they can book you in for your consultation. The Reception team will ask you to sign the Consent Form and Financial Consent Form authorising the hospital to treat your horse. If your horse is insured, the team will confirm if a claim form is required.

Clinical Evaluation

You will meet members of the clinical team (usually dressed in blue overalls) who will be looking after your horse including the Senior Clinician responsible for the case.

You will also meet final year veterinary students (usually dressed in green overalls) who will be responsible for taking the initial clinical history. They will be involved in the care of your horse through their stay at the hospital under the supervision of a member of the clinical team.

The clinical team will take a medical history from you and then examine your horse to decide on the best course of treatment. If hospital treatment or diagnostic investigations are needed we can admit your horse immediately.

While your horse is in the hospital

Progress Updates

Office staff are given a message list each weekday morning after clinical rounds. If you would like an update on your horse's progress, please telephone after 10.30am.

You will be contacted late afternoon by the clinical team if they need to update you on your horse's care - please be assured that the clinical team will always contact you immediately if there is important news to relay.

24 Hour Care

Your horse will be looked after 24 hours a day by the clinical team and qualified yard technicians who take individual care of your horse during their stay at the hospital. During out-of-hours there is a live-in duty vet who is on-site at all times. This vet is part of a comprehensive out-of-hours team made up of a Resident veterinary surgeon, Senior Clinicians for Internal Medicine and Surgery disciplines, an Anaesthetist as well as a small dedicated team of final year students.

Detailed checks are made throughout the day and night according to the level of care individual horse's need with constant monitoring for the most severe cases.

Stables in the Intensive Care Unit are video-linked to screens throughout the hospital so that day and night duty staff can monitor patients even when they are not in the ICU.


Visiting is not encouraged because this increases the risk of transmitting infections. However, if you feel you must visit your horse, please telephone beforehand to arrange a time.

Visiting hours are between 3pm and 5pm on weekdays and between 10am and 12pm or 4pm and 5pm at weekends. Please inform us in advance and report to Reception before visiting your horse on the yard. At weekends please use the phone in the foyer to let the duty vet know you have arrived.

Please note that if your horse has Gamma Scintigraphy (bone scan) or Iridium Wires they will be radioactive for approximately 2 1/2 days or 10 days respectively and during this period you will be unable to visit.


The hospital provides everything your horse needs during a hospital stay so please ensure you take all personal possessions such as rugs, head collars etc with you when you leave your horse unless otherwise instructed. The hospital can not be held liable for any personal items that go missing or are damaged during your horse's hospitalisation.


The hospital provides a variety of horse feeds but you should let the clinical team know in advance if your horse has any special or unusual dietary requirements.

Leahurst Facilities

If you have to wait while your horse has medical treatment, the hospital has a large and comfortable waiting room with TV and hot drinks dispenser.

There is a Refectory on-site which serves hot and cold food and drinks which is open Monday - Friday from 8.30am - 3.30pm. Ness Gardens is located 5 miles away and Gordale Garden Centre is just 2 miles from Campus.

When your horse is discharged

The clinical team will advise you when your horse is ready to be discharged from the hospital.

If you are not insured, the accounts team will contact you to confirm your account balance, advise of the method of payments accepted at the hospital and take payment. If your horse is insured you should bring the claim form so we can submit a claim on your behalf. Items not covered by your insurance policy should be settled at discharge.

The clinical team will meet with you to discuss your horse's discharge instructions and after-care. If a follow-up appointment is necessary, you can arrange this with the reception team.