In 2013, World Dressage Masters approached ISES to develop guidelines to ensure optimal horse and rider welfare and safety at competitive events.
The resulting ISES Code of Conduct aligns with current knowledge and understanding of the principles of equitation science, as advocated by the International Society for Equitation Science (ISES) and supported by World Dressage Masters.
Equitation science provides a means to promote an objective, evidence-based understanding of the welfare of horses during training and competition and uses a multidisciplinary approach to explain horse training. Equitation Science applies valid, quantitative scientific methods that can identify what training techniques are ineffective or may result in equine suffering. This Code of Conduct highlights the most salient aspects relating to ethical and welfare concerns and how these should be addressed during competitive events by organizers, sponsors, riders, trainers, grooms and other interested parties.
Both ISES and WDM hope that event organisers, officials, riders, trainers and spectators across the world will consider adopting the ISES Code of Conduct and help us develop it further through constructive feedback to ensure a welfare-driven, sustainable future for all horses.