Horses and People

We share your passion

Available worldwide by subscription and in Newsagents and select stores in Australia.
App Store - Logo Google Play Store - Logo

Equitation Science / Behaviour

The plight of the working elephant - Postcard from Nepal

July 2012

Elephant training throughout Asia is ancient and has its roots many millennia ago in Assam. Like the training of any ridden animal such as horses, donkeys and camels, elephant training techniques are entangled in folklore and legend, handed down from generation to generation. Interestingly, in all ridden species, the prevailing view of the recipe for successful human-animal interactions arises from mankind’s historical preference for hierarchical relationships since hunter-gatherer times – a fixed linear hierarchy where rank is maintained by ritualised aggression.

Trust and Confidence in Horse Training

July 2012

Have you ever wondered why, horses that seem to trust you will still snort and spin at objects and in certain situations even though you are there with them?  What does it actually mean to the horse when someone comments; “your horse needs to trust you more?”  

How 'clever' is your horse?

July 2012

If we are to train and keep horses, we should make it our responsibility to find out as much as possible about them, how they work, what they value, how they think, and how they learn. Understanding that horses are different to humans is very important and can make training easier and successful. Elsa Willans-Davis from the Australian Equine Behaviour clinic explains...

Why some ponies behave badly

June 2012

Pony dreams are not always the reality... While horse riding should be a fun educational experience for our kids, it doesn’t always go as smoothly as planned. Pony problems such as uncontrollable behaviour, pig rooting (bucking), napping, spooking and refusing to load into horse trailers have become so common that few people are surprised any more by what they see. What is going on?

Equitation Science at the BHS Convention

October 2011

Dr Andrew McLean presents at the British Horse Society's 2011 Convention by Lisa Ashton, ISES Education Officer and Director of EquiSci Dr Andrew McLean delivered the 2011 Spring Convention for the British Horse Society to over 300 equestrian coaches, to show that a solid understanding of learning theory (the way the horse learns) is the foundation to safe, successful and ethical horse training, and better for horse welfare. Equitation science is the science of horse riding and training. It includes learning theory, ethology and cognition, biomechanics, psychology and sports science.

The Environment We Create For Our Horses

April 2010

The horse in its natural environment roams freely with its herd mates over vast grassy plains, enabling them to always find feed, water, shelter and to have the room to escape from predators. Rarely is this the case with domesticated horses. If we are to keep horses in our domestic environment, then it is essential that we provide an environment that is as close as possible to the horse's natural environment.

Training Elephants - Not So Different

March 2008

The science of training Horses translated to train Elephants . Elephant training, like horse training involves the use of negative reinforcement (where body-pressure signals are learned), and when Finnish animal trainer, Tuire Kaimio who specialised in positive reinforcement joined the WWF/ WSPA team sponsored to find ways to optimise elephant training, the team realised they needed a trainer specialised in such techniques.

Transporting Horses with Mirrors.

March 2008

Many horses find being transported stressful, especially when they are travelling alone. The physical and psychological trauma can have an adverse effect on their health and welfare. A novel way of minimising the stress experienced by horses being transported was presented at the National Equine Forum held in London in March 2007.


Subscribe to Equitation Science / Behaviour