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Karlsson, Ellen, 2013. Vad ridskolor lär ut om hästens beteende. First cycle, G2E. Skara: SLU, Dept. of Animal Environment and Health (until 231231)



The horses have been in the care of humans for about 5000-7000 years. But even though the horses have been domesticated and artificial selected for such a long time their natural behaviours and instincts still remains. In the rich countries there are many people who have the opportunity to ride either on their own horses or at riding schools. Many of these people have not grown up on farms and have no experience of handling big animals. This can lead to implications of the horses’ welfare.

The riding schools work as role models and places to learn, not only about riding but also about horses and their natural behaviours. Many people start their lives with horses at a riding school and then they bring their knowledge with them when they then should handle a horse on their own. To gain good horse welfare it’s very important to have the knowledge about the horses’ natural needs and behaviours. It’s therefore very important what the riding schools teach about these subjects.

The first aim with this study was, by doing a study of literature, to define some of the most important behavioural systems of horses and how they are related to safety and welfare. The second aim was, by doing an interview study, to investigate what riding schools teach about these systems, so that the riders could handle horses in a safely and in a welfare basis good way. In the interview study there were six riding teachers, at six different riding schools in different parts of Sweden, which were interviewed. The riding teachers had different educations and different experiences of the work and the riding schools where the riding teachers worked had different sizes. These riding schools and riding teachers were chosen because they should represent the average of the riding schools in Sweden.

Because horse behaviour is a large topic some delimitation had to be done. This study chose to focus on the horses eating behaviours, social behaviours and kinetic behaviours, because these are some of the most basic behavioural systems.

The results of the literature study showed that if these behaviours not are properly fulfilled the horses can get both physical and mental problems that can lead to poor horse welfare. There is also a risk of safety, not to know about the horses’ social behaviours and how to read the signals of the horses. The results of the interview study showed that the riding teachers didn´t teach that much about horse behaviour. Although it seemed like they taught the right things about this subject according to current science. The riding teachers said that one of the problems was to get the riders interested in learning other things than riding.

This is a limited study so no major conclusions can be drawn but it gives an indication that more time and more emphasis should be placed on teaching about horse behaviour at the riding schools. That is important for the horses welfare and the riders safety.

Main title:Vad ridskolor lär ut om hästens beteende
Authors:Karlsson, Ellen
Supervisor:Zetterqvist Blokhuis, Mari
Examiner:Lundberg, Anna
Series:Studentarbete / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för husdjurens miljö och hälsa
Volume/Sequential designation:476
Year of Publication:2013
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G2E
Student's programme affiliation:VK002 Ethology and Animal Welfare - Bachelor's Programme 180 HEC
Supervising department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health (until 231231)
Keywords:häst, beteende, behov, undervisning, ridskolor, välfärd
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Animal husbandry
Animal ecology
Veterinary science and hygiene - General aspects
Deposited On:16 Aug 2013 12:38
Metadata Last Modified:16 Aug 2013 12:38

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