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ISES Rome 2018: In Search of La Dolce Vita: what Constitutes 'The Good Life' for Horses?

This September, the world's leading equine scientists will gather at the 14th annual International Society for Equitation Science (ISES) conference in Rome to share their latest research findings and discuss what constitutes a good life for horses.

The conference theme is Equine welfare: good training, good feeding, good housing, good mental state, good health, good behaviour. Many horse owners believe their horses live ideal lives with optimal welfare. Racehorses are often described as 'living like kings', while those left grazing in fields are considered 'wasted'. But is this really the case? Do we really know what constitutes a good life for the horse? How can we assess, measure and ensure optimal welfare in all aspects of their lives?

To answer some of these questions there will be a packed conference programme of plenary lectures, oral and poster presentations from leading equitation scientists and students from around the world addressing the conference theme.

There will also be two innovative workshops: Kate Fenner will discuss the ongoing Equine Behaviour Assessment and Research Questionnaire (E-BARQ) and Paolo Baragli will highlight new technologies in the equine industry.

The practical day will feature demonstrations as diverse as 'How to assess if a horse is fit to travel', 'Handling techniques for dealing with aversive healthcare or management procedures' and 'How to manage a barn fire'. . Over 170 abstracts have been submitted for review and the selection committee are in the process of finalising the three-day programme. Keep an eye on the conference website for news updates.

This year is the 150th anniversary of the birth of Captain Federico Caprilli, an Italian cavalry officer whose pioneering techniques transformed the way horses were trained and ridden. The conference will be held in the beautiful military academy Lanceri di Montebello in Rome where he originally worked.

In the late 19th century Caprilli introduced the forward seat in jumping and the concept of 'natural equitation' which was recognised as a revolution in modern equitation. Caprilli evidently had an understanding of Learning Theory and many of his teachings align with the ISES Training Principles.

The International Society for Equitation Science (ISES) is a not-for-profit organisation that promotes research to raise both equine welfare and safety standards, as well as improving the horse and rider relationship. Every year, the conference has featured groundbreaking studies that have shed light on how we can improve the way we manage, train and ride our horses.

The conference is open to anyone and is a unique platform for the exchange of ideas, results and collaboration. There will be plenty of opportunities to chat and socialise with scientists, practitioners, students and like-minded equine enthusiasts from around the globe.

Tickets are now on sale and the early bird rate will be available until July 30. Tickets are available at a discounted rate to ISES members.

For more information about the programme, speakers, venue, accommodation and tourist information please visit the conference website here:

Join us in Rome this September for ISES 2018 for a slice of 'La Dolce Vita'.

Whatever your particular area of interest, the wealth of research to be presented at the 2018 ISES ROME conference will undoubtedly be thought-provoking.

For more information about the conference, keynote speakers, venue, accommodation and tourist information please visit the conference website:

To stay informed about the conference programme, sign up for our email news at 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.