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Equitation Science / Behaviour

To Whip or Not to Whip... That is the Question.

November 2018

Let me set the scene, let me paint a picture often seen in jumping classes, not only in New Zealand, but in most countries around the world. Half way through her showjumping round, ‘Sally’ canters her horse ‘Stormy’ towards the wall, at which point Stormy refuses the fence. Determined to get him over it the next time, Sally holds Stormy at the fence and gives him three good hard wallops with her whip. Upon presenting him at the fence a second time, Stormy jumps it clear and the round continues.

Your Spooky Horse Explained

November 2018

Improving your understanding of the inbuilt instinct for survival in the horse - how it is triggered and what it looks like - will improve your training methods, reduce the instances of injury to both, you and other people around the fearful horse and the horse himself. A question of survival 

Are You Over-training Your Horse?

October 2018

If you are repeatedly training your horse to do the same task every day, you could well be spending your time more productively. New research has found that horses have similar learning progress and remember a task just as well, when they are trained every three days, as when they are trained daily.

Equitation Science Conference Underway

October 2018

The 14th International Society of Equitation Science conference has begun! The world’s leading equine and welfare scientists have gathered in Rome to share their latest research at the 14th International Equitation Science Conference. This year’s ISES conference features one of the most exciting and varied programmes to date, with over 140 different plenary lectures, oral and poster presentations, workshops and practical demonstrations exploring the best of what’s new in equine science.

A Calmer Horse Could be a Sniff Away

September 2018

How many ways can you think of to stress out a horse? Floating, washing, clipping, vet visits, hoof trims, bridling, saddling - the possibilities are endless. Unfortunately, calming options are not as easy. Thanks to research conducted at the University of Arizona, horsemen and horsewomen have a new tool to help manage equine stress, and it's as simple as a sniff. A sniff of lavender, that is.

Equitation Science 150 years after Caprilli: Theory and Practice, the Full Circle

September 2018

On September 21 the world’s leading equine scientists, students and practitioners will gather in Rome for the 14th annual International Society for Equitation Science (ISES) conference. This year’s theme of Equine welfare: good training, good feeding, good housing, good mental state, good health, good behaviour will be addressed by equitation scientists presenting their latest research findings in a packed programme of plenary lectures, oral and poster presentations, workshops and practical demonstrations.

Nosebands: New Zealand votes to amend rules

August 2018

At their recent National Conference, Dressage New Zealand (DNZ) voted to amend the noseband rule which now states: "It must be possible to place one finger comfortably between the noseband and the nasal planum (front of the nose)". Whilst not quite the two-finger spacing that was originally submitted by North Island Riders Representative Alicia Zeludlko and Jody Hartstone with the support of area group Dressage Bay of Plenty, changing the place where noseband tightness is checked is a huge step in the right direction towards welfare improvements in their sport.

Ethical Equitation part 2 - Stop and Go

July 2012

Riding horses is more than just hopping on and riding, it is about understanding your horse and, specifically, how your horse learns. In last month's article Jody and Nicolette explained the principles that underpin ethical equitation. In this article they explain how to put the principles into practice, and how to teach your horse the basic responses - stop and go. This article will discuss some of the principles that underpin ethical equitation, helping us to effectively train an attentive and relaxed horse.

Ethical Equitation Part 1 - Training Principles

July 2012

Riding horses is more than just hopping on and riding, it is about understanding your horse and, specifically, how your horse learns. By training using Learning Theory you are giving your horse the best chance of success. LEARNING THEORY is about ethical equitation - it is about recognising that just because we can do something to a horse, it doesn’t make it an ethically sound practice.

Much Too Tight! On the Effects of Nosebands

May 2018

The following paper is an approved translation of a study first published in the German equine science journal Pferdeheilkunde titled: Kienapfel, K.; Preuschoft, H., 2010: Viel zu eng! Über die Verschnallung der Nasenriemen. Pferdeheilkunde 26, 178–185. 'Much Too Tight! On the Effects of Nosebands' Kathrin Kienapfel* & Holger Preuschoft *corresponding author: Kathrin Kienapfel/ Kathrin.Kienapfel@rub.de Abstract

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