Misbehaving or misunderstood? Why horses need educated owners


The question of how we interact with horses, whilst at the same time ensuring horse and human safety and good welfare, is central to all who work with horses. This question is becoming increasingly important as the incidence of equine related accidents rises and there are serious concerns over the welfare of horses, particularly as a result of poor handling and training methods.

• In 2013 a survey commissioned by the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) discovered that equine vets are at the highest risk of injury of all civilian professions
• The incidences of horse behaviour issues warranting expert help has risen significantly as horse ownership increases.
• Researchers have found that on average horse riders are 20 times more likely to have an accident than motorbike riders.
• Insufficient or inappropriate training has been linked with increased welfare issues for the horse, as well as owner unhappiness and the misguided blaming and labelling of horses.
• Horse welfare charities are overwhelmed with the number of horses and ponies being given up for rehoming – 25% of them being labelled as being unmanageable because of behavioural problems.

To start to address these issues, the APBC and Ceva Animal Health are delighted to invite you to a seminar on Thursday 19th November 2015 at the British Horse Society Headquarters, Abbey Park, Kenilworth, to discuss what, as a collective group of behaviour organisations, charities, veterinary organisations and other relevant bodies, we can do to help disseminate appropriate, practical behavioural advice to horse-owning members of the public.

The morning will focus on the issue of equine behaviour and horse and rider welfare from multiple angles with 4 short overviews from different perspectives. This will be followed by an interactive workshop with the aim of answering the following questions:
• What are the most common problems with horse behaviour that impact on the welfare and safety of the average horse owner in their day to day interactions?
• How can we increase both awareness and availability of evidence based guidance to help both horse and owner?
The day will start at 9.30am and finish at 4pm with lunch provided.

RSVP to Karen Green (karen.green@ceva.com) by 9th October 2015 as there are limited places and these will be allocated on a first come first serve basis. We are really looking forward to seeing you there.
With kind regards,

Professor Natalie Waran BSc (Hons) PhD, Director JMICAWE (Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education), Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh
Debbie Busby BSc (Hons), MBPsS, APBC equine interest group representative. Behaviour and welfare consultant at Evolution Equine Behaviour
Nicolas De Brauwere BVSc, MRCVS, Chairman NEWC (National Equine Welfare Council). Head of Welfare and Behaviour, Redwings Horse Sanctuary
Jo Gourlay BVM&S, MRCVS, Veterinary Advisor, Ceva Animal Health
Karen Green E-SQP, Key Account Manager (Charities and Associations), Ceva Animal Health

Author: The Editor

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