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Equitation Science / Behaviour

Collaboration the Way Forward for Horse Welfare

February 2018

When trying to instigate change for the betterment of horses and their jockeys, to challenge long held beliefs and values, and to introduce new checks and balances to sacred traditions, it is a brave pioneer who dares to peep above the parapet and lead the way.

Equitation Scientists Call for the Development of a Single Descriptive Ethogram

February 2018

Ask a veterinarian, a judge and a farrier to describe a particular horse and you might get three very different answers. Show them a set of behaviours, and ask them to name and characterise them, and you might well believe they were observing different horses altogether. This might be amusing as a party game, but when it comes to discussing behaviour at a scientific level or to comparing one behaviour study with another, it presents a unique set of problems.

Equitation Science Focuses on Collaboration at International Conference

January 2018

When trying to instigate change for the betterment of horses and people, to challenge long-held beliefs and values, and to introduce new checks and balances to sacred traditions, it is a brave pioneer who dares to peep above the parapet and lead the way. But, the best pioneers are also able to harness the power of collaboration and prove the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. A common theme echoed throughout the recent International Society for Equitation Science (ISES) Conference Down Under 2017, which took place in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, is what ISES Hon Fellow, Prof.

How to Play the Breeder's Cup Lasix

December 2017

Since pre-race Lasix is allowed in America, the drug is listed on the program so the players (punters) can effectively parlay the Lasix horses.   Having practised as an attending Thoroughbred and Standardbred veterinarian back in the day, and subsequently following the medication notes on the forms of racehorses through time, I developed a sense of how to 'play the Lasix'.   I know better than to gamble where so many permitted drugs are allowed - with so many unknown consequences.   Highland Reel is getting Lasix and so will be favoured over Ulysses in the Turf.

The Science of Selection

November 2017

In last month’s issue, we visited Victoria Police’s Mounted Branch. This month we’re staying on the subject of police horses, with an interview with Marc Pierard, an equitation scientist from Belgium. Marc is conducting ongoing research into the horse selection criteria that could be used by mounted police units - and his work is likely to have multi-faceted benefits for horses and their riders.

When we know better, we do better!

October 2017

Horses today live longer, healthier lives than ever before. We selectively breed horses to jump higher, run raster, move more flamboyantly... But the question many horse lovers would like to know the answer to is this: Are they happy? Are the domesticated lives we provide our horses fulfilling? How do we know what great quality of life means to the horse, and how can we measure it and, of course, could we do better?

Scientists Question the Relevance of Leadership and Dominance in Horse Training

July 2017

The International Society for Equitation Science (ISES) has released a position statement on the use and misuse of man-made concepts in horse training, particularly dominance and leadership, warning they may jeopardise the creation of a harmonious relationship with the horse and may compromise its welfare.

Series: Setting Good Ground Rules Series

05/26/2017

13th International Equitation Science Conference Announced

May 2017

Equestrian people from all over Australia and the world will travel to the Land Down Under in November 2017 to attend the annual ISES conference; this year being held at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia from Wednesday 22nd to Saturday 25th November, 2017. The theme 'Equitation Science in Practice: Collaboration, Communication & Change' will provide opportunity to consider how the use of horses from leisure, to work, to sport, goes hand-in-hand with horse welfare. 

Equine Behaviour: An Introduction

April 2017

As most horse lovers know, our modern-day horses evolved from a five-toed forest-dwelling mammal that was about the size of small foxes. In the intervening 60 million years, the horse’s morphology has changed radically to better suit running fast over the savannahs and grasslands they now inhabit in the wild.  Despite this, horses are still, in many ways, scared little critters scuttling through the undergrowth trying to avoid being eaten by something bigger. 

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