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The Horse World

More people are riding in the UK but fewer own horses

April 2019

More people are riding with 25 to 44 year-olds leading the charge, but fewer households own horses, according to new statistics released today.  An increase in horse riding over the past five years has been revealed by the British Equestrian Trade Association’s (BETA’s) National Equestrian Survey 2019.   The first stage of the survey was presented by BETA executive director Claire Williams at the National Equine Forum, in London, yesterday (7 March).

The Unicorn

April 2019

…And “the Loveliest of All” was the Unicorn! This month we explore the unicorn; from its distinctly not-so-cute past in myth, art and history to its sparkly, commodified image today. One characteristic of the unicorn that rings true for today’s horse people lies in the unicorn’s perennial concern in helping humans in our endeavours, even at the risk of its own wellbeing.

You're anthropomorphising! But, is it all that bad?

April 2019

It might be a mouthful to pronounce, but anthropomorphism does not need to be hard to swallow. In this article, Dr Kirrilly Thompson moves away from a discussion about whether or not anthropomorphism is bad, to a consideration of when and how it can produce positive or negative outcomes for horses. Anthropomorphisation is, literally, the application of human (anthropos) form (morpho) to animals and is, essentially, the attribution of human characteristics to animals. Anthropomorphising is understanding animals on human terms – not their own.

Worth Their Weight in Gold

February 2019

On our January-February edition cover, professional equine portrait photographer and mum, Louise Sedgman has captured a moment of family fun as her daughters Grace and Emma play under the sprinklers with their ‘worth-their-weight-in-gold’ ponies Petal and Midnight on a hot summer’s evening.    Born in England and based in Drouin, Victoria, Louise says she’s loved horses her whole life; “I’m completely obsessed!” she laughs. “I got my first pony at age 5 and have had horses in my life ever since.”   

Equitation Scientists Challenge 'Misinformation' on Welfare Research

February 2019

In an open letter, the International Society for Equitation Science (ISES) asked World Horse Welfare (WHW) to publicly rectify “a number of incorrect claims and insinuations” made by Olympian and WHW trustee Richard Davison regarding noseband research at their recent conference. Roly Owers, MRCVS, WHW chief executive responded and praised Richard Davison for sharing his personal opinions and encouraging debate on issues affecting sport horse welfare. Hon. President of ISES was asked by WHW to publish the response.   

Legends of the Bush

February 2019

The horse in Australia has played a central role in the formation of our national identity. The distinctive Australian values of mateship, toughness, anti-authoritarianism, and concern for the ‘battler’ were carved out in the presence of horses. From the ponies who arrived here on the First Fleet in January 1788, and the others who joined them and were bred here, in peace and war, in sport and leisure, in work and play, horses and their riders have been fundamental to our collective sense of Australian-ness.   

Dressing up for Melbourne Cup Day, from the horse's point of view

December 2018

Melbourne Cup is upon us and racegoers will dress in their finest, with prizes awarded for the smartest fashions on the field. Just like the punters, the equine stars of the track may also be wearing a range of gear in the hope of gaining a winning edge.

The Riding House

December 2018

This month we explore the history of the indoor arena or ‘riding house’ to use its original name. Some might consider that indoor arenas are not necessary in Australia because of our climate, but this would be to overlook the Northern hemisphere influences on equestrianism, including equine architecture. It is also true that those of us in the southern regions benefit from having access to an indoor during our long, cold and wet winters, and those further north benefit from the sun shelter they provide.

Cantering Confessions

November 2018

I have a confession. It’s been months since I cantered Dante. We had been going well and then came the setback at the start of the year: He got sore. I misread it. I pushed too far. His soreness got worse and with it his attitude. And with that, my confidence plummeted.

The Science Behind Melbourne Cup Winners

November 2018

It’s the race that stops a nation … and is worth a cool A$6.2 million. So what goes into the raceday preparation for the equine stars of the show? Thoroughbred racehorses have unique anatomy and physiology that suits them well for racing at high speeds. There are very few 3,200m Thoroughbred races in Australia, and the horses that make it to the final 24 in the Melbourne Cup are truly elite equine athletes.


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