ISES MEDIA RELEASES

The question asked by Equus Education (NZ) Ltd, a small team of dedicated ladies in New Zealand is what foundation training at an early age can do to help these horses adapt to the challenges thrust upon them and to make the job of handling and training them as they start their career safer and easier for both the horses and their handlers.

September 21–24, 2018

Equine welfare: good training, good feeding, good housing, good mental state, good health, good behaviour. Research focusing on any of those topics or on how to assess equine welfare is welcome. 

Take a moment to think about what the term ‘equine welfare’ means to you. Does it describe the animal’s physical condition or does it speak more widely of the animal’s ethology, such as whether it has the opportunity to express natural, species-specific behaviours? Does it mean something deeper still, perhaps delving into the subjective realms of equine happiness, contentment, joy?

When trying to instigate change for the betterment of horses and their jockeys, to challenge long held beliefs and values and to introduce new checks and balances to sacred traditions it is a brave pioneer who dares to peep above the parapet and lead the way...

Ask a veterinarian, a judge and a farrier to describe a particular horse and you might get three very different answers. Show them a set of behaviours and ask them to name and characterise them and you might well believe they were observing different horses altogether. This might be amusing as a party game, but when it comes to discussing behaviour at a scientific level or to comparing one behaviour study with another, it presents a unique set of problems...

With just over a week to go before the 13th International Equitation Science Conference begins, the orchestra is tuning and the players are rehearsing their lines. And do we have a treat in store for you! This year’s theme of Collaboration, Communication and Change is amply represented by the range and breadth of papers and studies which will be presented throughout the three days. Following a traditional Indigenous Australian welcome to country, delegates will be treated to an exciting range of research presentations exploring welfare, communication and collaboration and what that means in terms of change for the future. Many of the presentations will pave the way for some ground-breaking developments in Equitation Science. Of particular excitement is the development of an equine ethogram, a descriptive catalogue of equine behaviours, which once defined and accepted, will facilitate better research, enhance clarity and, ultimately, provide a reliable framework in which to study and measure behaviours. In a similar vein, the opening plenary will describe the importance of recognizing and reading equine body language, and its importance in the day to day interactions between horses and humans. The power of collaboration is represented by a case study in which clinicians from many different fields collaborated with the aim of reducing the injury rates of both, horses and jockeys, in Thoroughbred racing. The challenges of assessing and measuring equine emotional state and some possible areas for further study in this area will be outlined in a plenary that points the way toward creating an Equine Quality of Life framework (EQoL).From decreased eye blink rate as an indicator of stress, to the welfare benefits of early training of foals in basic responses according to the First Principles of Horse Training, to the stress induced by tongue tying and the cost/ benefit analysis in terms of welfare, this conference will generate enough thought-provoking content to keep your grey matter busy for quite some time. Whatever your particular field of interest, the range of research to be presented at the 2017 ISES Down Under conference is sure to delight and intrigue you. Registrations have now closed, but to stay informed and keep abreast of the content of this conference, sign up for our email news at www.equitationscience.com and like the ISES Facebook page for updates. If you are a current ISES member, you can also request to join the discussions on the closed Facebook group, ISES Members Forum.  The International Society for Equitation Science (ISES) is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to facilitate research into the training of horses to enhance horse welfare and improve the horse-rider relationship. Find out more at: https://equitationscience.com/conferences/ For more information contact: ISES Hon. PresidentCamie Heleski, PhDpresidents@equitationscience.com Media Enquiries: ISES Media Officer:Kate Fennermedia@equitationscience…

More

As we move forward with Equitation Science research, we do so on the shoulders of those enlightened pioneers who have gone before, whose lessons we can build upon in our quest to improve horse welfare, training and management. In equitation, who are these influential Giants and what have they contributed? This question will be put to some of the most senior and well-respected Equitation Science Fellows in a unique workshop which will kick-off ISES 2017 Down Under, this year’s International Equitation Science conference in Wagga Wagga NSW. They will be asked to introduce their own ‘Giants’, allowing delegates to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the long history of human-horse interactions. The workshop will be chaired by ISES Fellow Professor Natalie Waran, PhD, who says: “Whilst the Giants of the past may not have always questioned the ‘science behind their practice’, they can provide rich information to help develop techniques and approaches which can be robustly tested using an evidence based methodology.” Using the texts of the ancient Greek writer Xenophon as one example, Waran explains how his teachings introduce concepts such as structured habituation of a young horse to frightening things, reassurance as opposed to punishment, and an acceptance of the expression of positive emotions in horses, all of these being important research areas in the field of Equitation Science. And, whilst not all aspects of these early teachings will stand up to our modern notions of equine welfare, lessons learned help us shape the future. It is hoped that the audience will participate and the ensuing discussion/debate will help the group as a whole to choose for themselves three key Giants, and to decide what their influence has been and how we can build upon their teachings. The workshop is just one of many thought-provoking sessions to inspire and get ideas flowing. It will set the scene for a lively and stimulating conference designed to discuss the concepts of collaboration, communication and change in the field of Equitation Science. Join us in Wagga Wagga this November for ISES 2017 Down Under and hear for yourself from international researchers as they present their latest findings in a unique environment of like-minded equine enthusiasts. The International Society for Equitation Science (ISES) is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to facilitate research into the training of horses to enhance horse welfare and improve the horse-rider relationship. Find out more at: https://equitationscience.com/conferences/ For more information contact: ISES Hon. PresidentCamie Heleski, PhDpresidents@equitationscience.com Media Enquiries: ISES Media Officer:Kate Fennermedia@equitationscience…

More

Horses today live longer, healthier lives than ever before. We selectively breed horses to jump higher, run faster, move more flamboyantly... But the question many horse lovers would like to know the answer to is this: Are they happy? Are the domesticated lives we provide our horses fulfilling? How do we know what great quality of life means to the horse, and how can we measure it and, of course, could we do better? The science of equine behaviour and learning, known as Equitation Science, has already made great contributions to piecing together the jigsaw puzzle of what it might mean to be a horse, how we can look after them appropriately, improve and enrich their lives and continue to progress the way in which we interact with them and train them. The International Society for Equitation Science (ISES) is a not-for-profit organisation that facilitates research into the training and management of horses to enhance horse welfare and improve the horse-rider relationship. Each year, scientists working within the field of Equitation Science gather to share new information, discuss their latest findings and forge the path towards the ultimate goal of widening our understanding of how to ethically train horses whilst providing ethologically sound living conditions. In other words, how to help every horse experience a great quality of life, and how to recognise when we could be doing better. For the first time since 2009, some of the greatest minds in the field of equine management and welfare will flock to Australia for the 13th International Equitation Science conference in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales. Hosted by Charles Sturt University, the 2017 ISES Down Under conference theme is ‘Equitation Science in Practice: Collaboration, Communication and Change’ and you are invited to hear for yourself, from scientists all over the world, what they have learned in the past year and how their work is helping to figure out the puzzle. Over three days, you will attend a number of plenary lectures given by world renowned speakers that have been carefully selected to represent the conference theme, to widen our perspectives, share unique experiences and propose solutions to current challenges. The plenaries are supported by a series of oral presentations during which equitation science researchers will explain their latest findings and methodologies to a critical audience. Other important studies will be presented as posters throughout the conference, allowing participants the chance to discuss findings directly with the authors. There will also be an afternoon of practical demonstrations and plenty of opportunities to chat, eat and socialise with a diverse group of researchers who are looking for answers to help make us all better horse people. ISES 2017 Down Under conference is a carefully planned blend of learning, collaboration, networking and social opportunity. The International Equitation Science Conferences take pride in being extremely inclusive and open, so whether you are an academic, a student, a practitioner, a rider, owner, trainer or enthusiast, you will find yourself surrounded by like-minded, passionate horse people. The annual Equitation Science conferences are the place to learn more about this field of study, to meet the scientists and to form relationships with people who share your passion. Equitation science is the way forward. Join us in Wagga Wagga Nov 22-25 for ISES 2017 Down Under and see for yourself… When we know better, we do better! - ENDS - Summary: For the first time since 2009, some of the greatest minds in the field of equine management and welfare will flock to Australia for the 13th International Equitation Science conference in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales. Hosted by Charles Sturt University, the 2017 ISES Down Under conference theme is ‘Equitation Science in Practice: Collaboration, Communication and Change’ and you are invited to hear for yourself, from scientists all over the world, what they have learned in the past year and how their work is helping to figure out the puzzle.   The International Society for Equitation Science (ISES) is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to facilitate research into the training of horses to enhance horse welfare and improve the horse-rider relationship. www.equitationscience.com For more information contact: ISES Hon. PresidentCamie Heleski, PhDpresidents@equitationscience…

More