Research with horses is most often part of a One Health initiative where research for both animals and humans advance side by side. Veterinary studies to improve horse health are often translated to improve human health.
Horses get many human-like diseases such as, inflammation of the cellular layer of the eye (uveitis), melanoma and similar cancers, and asthma. Horses also react the same way as humans to overfeeding on a physiological level, providing an excellent model of obesity for both children and adults. Researchers developing treatments on human insulin resistance causing obesity often consult veterinary studies in horses – and veterinarians treating similar condition in horses draw on what has been learned in human studies.
Studies involving older horses are also useful in understanding human geriatric conditions, in part because the function of horses’ immune system decreases as they age, just like in people. Advancements for genetic disorders, musculoskeletal injuries, and the exploration of regenerative medicine are all being conducted with horses, for horses, and with applications that often translate to humans.