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J Appl Anim Welf Sci. 2016 Oct-Dec;19(4):335-52. doi: 10.1080/10888705.2016.1152190. Epub 2016 Mar 30.

Show Horse Welfare: Horse Show Competitors' Understanding, Awareness, and Perceptions of Equine Welfare.

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a Department of Youth Development and Agricultural Education , Purdue University , West Lafayette , IN , USA.
b Department of Animal Science , Oklahoma State University , Stillwater , OK , USA.
c Department of Curriculum and Instruction , Purdue University , West Lafayette , IN , USA.
d Department of Animal Science , Michigan State University , East Lansing , MI , USA.
e Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication , University of Georgia , Athens , GA , USA.


The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of stock-type horse show competitors' understanding of welfare and level of concern for stock-type show horses' welfare. Data were collected through an online questionnaire that included questions relating to (a) interest and general understanding of horse welfare, (b) welfare concerns of the horse show industry and specifically the stock-type horse show industry, (c) decision-making influences, and (d) level of empathic characteristics. The majority of respondents indicated they agree or strongly agree that physical metrics should be a factor when assessing horse welfare, while fewer agreed that behavioral and mental metrics should be a factor. Respondent empathy levels were moderate to high and were positively correlated with the belief that mental and behavioral metrics should be a factor in assessing horse welfare. Respondents indicated the inhumane practices that most often occur at stock-type shows include excessive jerking on reins, excessive spurring, and induced excessive unnatural movement. Additionally, respondents indicated association rules, hired trainers, and hired riding instructors are the most influential regarding the decisions they make related to their horses' care and treatment.


Competitors; horse; stakeholders; stock-type; welfare

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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