Social licence forum a “game changer” for equestrian industry

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The forum "Welfare and Performance of the Ridden Horse - How can we protect our social licence to operate in equestrianism?" is being run in August as a pilot in preparation for a wider series.
Photo by carterse

A forum later this year hosted by the Saddle Research Trust will share new “ground-breaking work that will change the future of the equine sports industry – for good”, the group says.

The forum titled “Welfare and Performance of the Ridden Horse – How can we protect our social licence to operate in equestrianism?” is being run as a pilot in preparation for a wider series. The format and content will be presented to a focus group of experienced industry professionals, with feedback invited on how best to translate and disseminate the key message to the wider equine community.

“We believe the evidence-based information that we will present is a game changer for the industry in respect of the welfare and performance of ridden horses and our social licence to operate,” the Saddle Research Trust said.

“We are, however, also acutely aware that it is an extremely difficult message to convey effectively and therefore at this preliminary stage, we will keep the focus very much on the research, the evidence and its practical application.”

The forum is being run at Ingestre Stables in Staffordshire on August 3, in collaboration with the Association of Fellows and Instructors of the British Horse Society, and is open to experienced industry professionals, but numbers are limited.

It will explore several topics, including:

  • Better for longer? – Why many talented horses do not live up to their promise or disappear from competition after a short career
  • Training issues or pain? – What behavior of the ridden horse can tell us about poor performance
  • Small gains mean bigger wins – How we can help optimise ridden horse performance
  • Can we protect the social licence to ride and compete? – How to enhance the ‘happy’ appearance of sports horses

The forum starts at 9.30am and concludes at 4pm, and each session will include time for Q&A and a short discussion. It concludes with a panel discussion.

» The forum is free and the registration form can be downloaded here.

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