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Posted by Christine Armishaw on 21/02/2022.

Horses Care About Whether a Man or Woman is in the Saddle

Any influence of the sex of the human partner in human–horse interactions on the behaviour of horses is currently largely anecdotal. Associations between the sex of humans and equine behaviour may have welfare implications.

This study investigates observations of ridden and non-ridden horse behaviour, as reported by respondents to the Equine Behaviour and Research Questionnaire (E-BARQ).

Results reveal some human sex-related differences between horses handled and ridden by male and female humans. Horses ridden or handled by male humans were more likely to be difficult to catch and defensive when approached, but less likely to pull on the reins/brace the neck or toss their head.

The study revealed the importance of considering the sex of the rider or handler when investigating equine behaviour. Read the full study here

Take the E-BARQ Survey

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