The Smiling Horse, The Lazy Horse & The Misbehaving Horse

an·thro·po·mor·phism: the attribution of human characteristics or behaviour to an animal or object. It is important to distinguish between two types of anthropomorphism. One is fairly innocent and may merely be used as a way to relate to animals, that is, the projection of what may be perceived by some as being strictly human emotional […]

The Potential Perils of Natural Horsemanship Part 2: Natural for whom? Challenging the myths 

The second part of The Potential Perils of Natural Horsemanship challenges some common beliefs inherent in the practice of natural horsemanship. The ‘alpha’ & the dangers of dominance “Dominance hierarchies, alpha positions or leadership in social groups of horses are man-made concepts that should not form the basis of human-horse interactions” (International Society for Equitation Science, […]

The Potential Perils of Natural Horsemanship Part 1: Round-pen training

  With advances in welfare science and equitation science, great strides have been made in horsemanship, training, and veterinary practices. We now have a much richer understanding of equine cognition, learning abilities, social needs and behaviour, which all play an important role in the evolution of species appropriate training and handling techniques. Natural horsemanship (NH) […]

Examining Xenophon’s ‘The Art of Horsemanship’ through the Lens of Modern Equine Welfare

A Greek philosopher and cavalry officer in the 4th century BC, Xenophon is highly regarded for his writings on horsemanship, which advocate for the humane handling of horses. He produced one of the earliest written accounts on horse conformation, care, riding, and training. In examining Xenophon’s teachings in The Art of Horsemanship (1893 translation), a […]

On Blanketing Horses

Blanketing horses has become a fairly common practice, no matter what the season. Sheets in the summer sun, sheets in the rain, heavier blankets fall through till early spring. One can’t help but wonder, is this based on a real or perceived need for the horse’s well-being or is it a manifestation of the human tendency […]