Humans show pain through facial expressions. These have been coded and used to assess the discomfort of patients who can’t communicate their suffering in other ways. Now the Horse Grimace Scale has been developed. Help to guide trainers, owners and vets in the determination of equine pain and its care…
Did you know that horses have an impressive ability to show facial expressions, with more “action units” than both dogs and chimps, horses can be almost as expressive as humans?
Thanks to horse research, we can better recognize these facial expressions and quantify horse stress, so we’re not just guessing.
I was reading about the latest in high-tech horse riding. Advanced robotics simulate jumping and a menu of advanced dressage movements.
I guess any tech breakthrough comes saddled with pros and cons. Discernment asks – “Just because we CAN, does it mean we SHOULD?”
Developers listed some interesting benefits for horse welfare and the riding industry I’d never have considered – I’ve noted some PROS below… and some CONS that surfaced in my mind.
Any more pros and cons you can think of?
An interesting article about how horse show committees must navigate the tricky waters of horse welfare and abuse -maneuvering around the varied voices of competitors, researchers and public perception.
Here are some article highlights and examples of FEI angles on the issues of head and neck positions, tack, whipping, and generally “abusive riding”.
Are ponies tougher than horses? French researchers say so.“We often hear that ponies are more robust than horses, and our study shows that they are less inclined to develop signs of poor welfare and that they are more resistant to deleterious equitation.”
(Deleterious equitation means “unhelpful” riding. We’ve ALL been there.)
WHAT might you expect to go wrong in the show ring? I’ll put on my judge’s hat and share common mistakes. So common, in fact, that every score sheet has a menu of these mishaps and space to record their numerical deductions.
WHY do these things happen? Here, I’ll wear my hat as a specialist in horse behaviour (and generally curious person ). Uncover the source and the symptom begins to fade away. Here are the final 3 common show ring “suddenly moments “ and how to make the best of them!