Upcoming equitation conference a worthy nod to Federico Caprilli

Captain Caprilli demonstrating the forward seat.
Captain Caprilli demonstrating the forward seat.

Equitation scientists will gather in Rome in September for their annual conference at a venue with close ties to the man many credit with laying the important foundations for natural horsemanship.

The gathering for the 14th annual International Society for Equitation Science (ISES) conference in Rome will be held in the beautiful military academy, Lanceri di Montebello, where Captain Federico Caprilli originally worked.

Caprilli was an Italian cavalry officer whose pioneering techniques transformed the way horses were trained and ridden.

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 horsemanship.

Caprilli evidently had an understanding of learning theory and many of his teachings align with the ISES Training Principles.

This year also, fittingly, marks the 150th anniversary of his birth.

Captain Federico Caprilli

The theme for the 14th annual conference is: In Search of La Dolce Vita: what constitutes “The Good Life” for Horses?

Delegates will explore elements of good training, good feeding, good housing, good mental state, good health and 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?

These questions will be addressed in plenary lectures, oral and poster presentations from leading equitation scientists and students from around the world.

There will also be two 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”.

More than 170 abstracts have been submitted for review and the selection committee is in the process of finalising the three-day programme.

The conference is open to anyone and is considered 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.

For more information, visit https://equitationscience.com/conferences/

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