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Equitation Science / Behaviour

Smart Textiles Set to Revolutionise the Horse Industry

November 2014

When you bought your last saddlecloth, rug or girth, you probably looked at the brand, colour, price tag, shape and size, but the development of smart or e-textiles is set to make saddlery shopping a lot more technical.  Imagine buying a rug that predicts when your mare will foal, a saddle blanket that records and stores heart and respiration rate changes during your exercise sessions, or can tell you if your horse is stressed. What about a girth that beeps if it is too loose or a noseband that changes colour when it is done up too tight? 

The Equine Pain Face

November 2014

Horses may not be able to say how much it hurts in words, but researchers demonstrate their face tells all. Learn to recognise the signs of the equine 'pain face' with Karina Bech Gleerup in this illustrated article.

Embedding Equitation Science into teaching and practice of equestrian professionals

October 2014

The emerging field of Equitation Science aims to measure and interpret interactions of the horse-human partnership and gather scientific evidence that can be used to improve the management, performance and welfare of the ridden horse. An identified barrier to the progress of Equitation Science is that scientists and equine practitioners tend to occupy different domains using different technical language, therefore potentially leading to confusion and lack of uptake and successful transfer of theory into practical contexts.

Can equestrian professionals recognise signs of stress in the ridden horse?

October 2014

Presenting at the 10th International Society for Equitation Science conference, in Denmark, Nottingham Trent University researchers Carol Hall, Rachel Kay and Kelly Yarnell stated that the interpretation of ridden horse behaviour by equestrian professionals, vets, instructors and riders, was found to differ from that suggested by physiological evidence.

Welfare of riding school horses

October 2014

A better understanding of how horses are managed in different countries and in the various sectors of the horse industry is of great interest to equitation and welfare scientists around the globe. To this effect, researchers from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, set to investigate the management of riding schools in their country, to estimate the time horses are absent from work due to health issues, the frequency and type of health issues and to make any associations between management and time absent from work.  

Rugging Preferences

September 2014

Researchers from the Norwegian Veterinary Institute have successfully taught horses to use symbols to communicate their preferences for rugging, including having their rug put on, taken off or left as is. They further demonstrated their study at the 10th International Equitation Science Conference (ISES) - 'Equine Stress, Learning and Training' - held in Denmark on August 7-9th 2014, by having professional animal trainers carry out a 10-step training program.

Desensitised Mares Raise Calmer Foals

September 2014

Can mares transmit habituation to scary or novel objects to their foals? Janne Christensen, PhD, from Aarhus University in Denmark presented 'Social transmission of habituation from mares to their foals'...A report from the 10th International Equitation Science Conference (ISES) - 'Equine Stress, Learning and Training' - held in Denmark on August 7-9th 2014.

Researchers want to know more about horse people

June 2014

A team of scientists have launched a short online survey to try and understand what type of people are attracted to riding, work in the horse industry or watch equestrian sports. The team is lead by Dr. David Marlin and comprises Dr. Inga Wolframm (an expert in sports psychology) who has been studying personality in riders for a number of years, and Dr. Jane Williams (an epidemiologist).

How are horses managed in different countries?

June 2014

Do horse owners in Sweden stable their horses more often than owners in New Zealand? What do owners in France and Holland feed their horses?  Do riders in England use the same bits and saddles as riders in Australia? Do owners in the United States or Spain use the internet the most to find out about horse care?   Are Italian horses more likely to wear shoes or go barefoot?

Equine Behaviour Through Time

April 2014

Horses began their journey through time 60 million years ago. Three million years ago the footsteps of humans were fossilised next to the hoof prints of horses, suggesting that humans have been contemplating horses for some time. But, it was not until perhaps ten thousand years ago that human societies began the dance of domestication with the horse. Over thousands of years, perhaps tens of thousands of years, the horse herds gradually merged with human societies.

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