The International Society for Equitation Science (ISES) Conference is returning this year after being postponed for the past two years because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 18th ISES Conference 2022, titled ‘Succeed with Science: Performance, Practice and Positive Partnerships’, will run as a hybrid conference at Hartpury University and Hartpury College in Gloucestershire from August 10 to 12, allowing delegates to either attend in-person or online. More than 190 in-person and 300 online researchers, practitioners, students, veterinary professionals, equine organisations, and industry leaders are expected.
Over three days, the event will give delegates a fresh perspective on the current state of Equitation Science with thought-provoking plenaries, workshops, research presentations, keynotes, and research studies.
One of the key themes of the conference is Positive Partnerships, a session that will be led by Dr Natalie Waran, who heads the FEI’s new Social License to Operate Commission.
The horse-human relationship is the foundation of positive partnerships, and Waran, Chair of Trustees at ISES and Executive Dean and Professor (One Welfare) at the Eastern University of Technology (EIT) in New Zealand, will consider this partnership from both the horse and the human perspective. Along with Dr Hayley Randle and Dr Jane Williams, Waran will explore how this knowledge can underpin and promote ethical equitation practices and positive relationships.
“It’s important that we remember that a partnership is a two-way exchange, with both parties enjoying the benefits resulting from the interaction,” Waran said.
“If we are to be certain that horses can enjoy a positive experience when being handled, trained, ridden, driven and in performance, we need to ensure that we know what is positive from the horse’s perspective, and how we provide for this in practice.”
She said ‘Succeed with Science’ will provide an opportunity for scientists, students, and practitioners to engage with a rich mix of the latest equitation science research and advanced practice, as well as showcase how technology can be harnessed to further our knowledge about how to ensure that the horse-human partnership is mutually rewarding.
Each day, the conference will feature a live panel, providing an opportunity for contemporary issues to be discussed by keynote speakers. Leading equitation science researchers and industry practitioners will join the lively discussions in which audience participation and interaction are encouraged.
Areas planned include equine quality of life, rider responsibility and how we can use science to generate evidence-informed equitation.
The conference will also look at:
Performance: Dr Andrew Hemmings and Linda Greening will take us on a trip inside the horse’s mind with a head-first approach to equine management and training, while Dr David Marlin and Professor Tim Parkin will explore relationships between equine performance and welfare, by examining how we can define and measure performance, and the role science can play to enhance health and welfare – not just competitive success.
Practice: Dr Marc Pierard will showcase how learning theory can be applied in the ridden horse, while Christopher Bartle FBHS will discuss his personal philosophy for training horse and rider partnerships. Professor Lars Roepstroff and Dr Russell Mackechnie-Guire will consider how rider performance and horse and rider asymmetries can influence training and performance and affect quality of life for the ridden horse.
The conference will run alongside the NAF Five Star International Hartpury Horse Trials and in-person delegates will receive a free pass to attend the cross country day on Saturday, August 13.