Study: Equestrians’ Views Vary on What Constitutes Good, Bad Horse Welfare

Researchers say these differing views have a lot to do with peoples’ personal beliefs and experiences. This indicates that horse welfare is still very subjective, which is why there’s a real need for reliable welfare evaluation tools with objective scoring, they said.
Share
Favorite
Please login

No account yet? Register

ADVERTISEMENT

horse welfare
These study results indicates that horse welfare is still very subjective, which is why there’s a real need for reliable welfare evaluation tools with objective scoring, researchers said. | Photo: iStock

If there’s one thing horse owners aren’t short on, it’s opinions. From feed types and housing options to horse health maintenance and even a favorite pitchfork, equestrians tend to know what they believe and why. This even extends to what constitutes good or bad horse welfare—not everyone agrees on what’s good and bad for horses. Those views, researchers recently confirmed, have a lot to do with peoples’ personal beliefs and experiences.

“The idea of welfare is an important concept to anyone dealing with animals, but what welfare is, or what comprises good or poor welfare, seems to be very subjective and influenced by personal, cultural, or societal values,” said Katrina Merkies, PhD, associate professor and equine program coordinator at the University of Guelph, in Ontario, Canada.

In a recent study, Merkies and colleagues asked 14 industry professionals to consider a series of 12 scenarios involving horses and owners, each of which described a situation in which horse welfare might (or might not) be compromised

Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.

TheHorse.com is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into TheHorse.com.

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.

Share

Written by:

Passionate about horses and science from the time she was riding her first Shetland Pony in Texas, Christa Lesté-Lasserre writes about scientific research that contributes to a better understanding of all equids. After undergrad studies in science, journalism, and literature, she received a master’s degree in creative writing. Now based in France, she aims to present the most fascinating aspect of equine science: the story it creates. Follow Lesté-Lasserre on Twitter @christalestelas.

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

What signs does your horse show when he has gastric ulcers? Please check all that apply.
77 votes · 197 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with TheHorse.com!