314 pages, colour photos, colour illustrations, tables
The goal of equitation science is to enhance our understanding of how horses think and learn, and to use their natural behaviour to train, ride or compete with them in as fair a manner as possible. The welfare consequences of training and competing horses under different protocols are explored. Drawing on traditional and emergent techniques, this book incorporates learning theory into an ethical equine training system suitable for all levels. It also focuses on evidence-based approaches that improve rider safety.
“This is a brilliant and extensive effort at explaining the science behind many common correct and incorrect horsemanship and training techniques. The first half on the science of behavior and learning theory will not be for all readers, but for those who persist, it builds the foundation for the second half where misbehaviors are dealt with from a scientific standpoint. This is an excellent addition to the scientific behavioral literature.”
- Doddy's, 20 April 2012
"...the book is a must for every equine veterinary practice, equine training and teaching institution, and anyone concerned with horses who wants to be involved with their own individual training and development. It is a thought provoking textbook that will help the next generation of horse owners and equine enthusiasts to consider and reconsider their training and development protocols and will provide many others with the knowledge that what they are doing is right – and, more importantly, why it is right. Ultimately this book can only have a positive effect on the welfare of the horse and on the human-equine bond."
- The Vet Journal, December 2011
1 The Quest for Knowledge 1
2 Cognitive Ethology 6
3 Anthropomorphism 36
4 Learning I: Non-associative 56
5 Learning II: Associative (Attractive) 70
6 Learning III: Associative (Aversive) 85
7 Applying Learning Theory 104
8 Training 128
9 Horses in Sport andWork 162
10 Apparatus 179
11 Biomechanics 198
12 Unorthodox Techniques 218
13 Fight and Flight Responses and Manifestations 225
14 Ethical Equitation 258
15 The Future of Equitation Science 265
Glossary of the Terms and Definitions and of Processes Associated with Equitation 273
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Paul McGreevy BVSc, PhD, MRCVS, MACVS (Animal Welfare), is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Sydney, Australia. He is an RCVS Recognised Specialist in Veterinary Behavioural Medicine, and has a PhD in horse behaviour. His research work and teaching in horse welfare have been recognised by numerous international awards and he acts as a scientific advisor to many of the world’s leading animal charities. He has a wealth of practical experience both as a riding instructor and an equine veterinary practitioner, and has been training dogs and horses since his childhood.
Andrew McLean BSc DipEd PhD is one of the world’s foremost equine behavioral practitioners and is Principal Trainer at the Australian Equine Behaviour Centre. He regularly conducts clinics in a variety of international locations, and holds a PhD in animal neuroscience. He has represented Australia in Horse Trials, in dressage he has competed to FEI level and he has also ridden to Grand Prix and Championship level in Show-jumping. He has trained and coached some of the world’s leading riders, trainers and coaches, and has reformed internationally competitive horses up to Olympic Games and World Championship level.