Who’s Involved With Horses? Researchers Want to Find Out

Researchers are hoping equestrians will reply to an online research survey aimed at helping them better understand who participates in horse activities and sports.
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Who’s Involved With Horses
While there are currently generalizations about who participates in equine sports, the researchers hope to determine if they accurately reflect socioeconomic factors or are simply perceptions based on stereotypes. | Photo: iStock
University of Kentucky (UK) researchers Karin Pekarchik, MS, and Kimberly Tumlin, PhD, MPH, MS, are seeking participation for an online research survey to better understand who participates in horse activities and sports.

“Portrait of a Rider: Characterizing Active Participants in Horse Activities and Horse Sports” is a survey that will help qualify socioeconomic factors and type of participation of equestrians, which includes any person (rider, handler, worker, etc.) who interacts with horses. Compared to the number of studies carried out on horses and their health, there’s been little research conducted on equestrians, despite the industry’s global economic importance.

“This survey is an important step in making sure we understand who participates in the industry, where they are, and generally get more detail on their backgrounds,” Pekarchik said. “There are some pressures to participation rates and workforce development in different areas of the industry, and this is one way to give everyone an opportunity to be counted.”

Although there are generalizations about who participates in equine sports, the researchers say it’s unclear if they accurately reflect socioeconomic factors or are simply perceptions based on stereotypes. Pekarchik and Tumlin said they hope to receive completed surveys from at least 1,000 participants, which would allow them to create a statistically valid portrait of who participates in horse activities

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