Internationally the horse industry primarily supports equestrian sports including racing, dressage and show jumping. These and other equestrian sports are economically and culturally important to many countries, including Australia. However, community concern for horse welfare and poor rider safety threaten the long-term future of equestrian sport. This research investigates the relationships between horse welfare, rider safety and rider satisfaction, and highlights how improving horse welfare has the potential to improve both rider safety and rider satisfaction. Equestrians’ conceptualisation of horse welfare and the motivations underlying their horse keeping and training practices are also investigated.
Why my research is important/Impacts
There is growing concern about horse welfare both within the horse industry and in the community. Failure to address these concerns places the long-term future of this multi-billion dollar industry at risk. Reforming the industry so horse welfare and rider safety are enhanced, offers a way forward that is ethical and sustainable. The results of this research can inform the development of tools and strategies industry can use to improve horse welfare and rider safety.