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Equitation Science

Equitation Science

by Paul McGreevy and Andrew McLean; Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. Soft cover, 328pp RRP $A64.95. ISBN: 978-1-4051-8905-7.

April 22, 2011

Equitation Science is an important step along the path to ethical horsemanship, where there is greater understanding and sympathy for the horse in a working and competition environment.

How horses think, why they do what they do, and how riders and handlers can best work with them is outlined by two renowned Australian experts in the field of equine behaviour.

It is a common catchword in equestrian sports today, but the word "welfare" is somewhat misunderstood when we look at the way many of today's competition horses - and others - are treated.

In this book the authors attempt to show that a greater understanding of the horse, and improved and kinder techniques for working with the animal, can reap greater benefits for both parties.

Many aspects are discussed, including training, tack, biomechanics, "fight and flight" responses, and each has a take-home message with bullet points explaining the essence of the chapter. There are also notes on ethical considerations.

Many previous studies in various related areas are referred to throughout the book, which is illustrated in colour with both photographs and informational drawings.

The information within will be valuable for those who ride, train and work with horses, and the authors no doubt know their stuff. It is, however, more a reference book than a volume to be read from cover to cover.

But let's hope that the book's message will be taken on board by those who regulate the world of equestrian sports, and that information can be disseminated among horsemen and horsewomen.

1 The Quest for Knowledge. (excerpt)
2 Cognitive Ethology.
3 Anthropomorphism.
4 Learning I: Non-associative.
5 Learning II: Associative (Attractive).
6 Learning III: Associative (Aversive).
7 Applying Learning Theory. (excerpt)
8 Training. (excerpt)
9 Horses in Sport and Work.
10 Apparatus.
11 Biomechanics.
12 Unorthodox Techniques.
13 Fight and Flight Responses and Manifestations. (excerpt)
14 Ethical Equitation.
15 The Future of Equitation Science.
Glossary of the Terms and Definitions and of Processes Associated with Equitation.



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