Evolving protocols for research in equitation science

Marc Pierard, Carol Hall, Uta König von Borstel, Alison Averis, Lesley Hawson, Andrew McLean, Charlotte Nevison, Kathalijne Visser, Paul McGreevy

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Within the emerging discipline of Equitation Science, the application of consistent methodology, including robust objective measures, is required for sound scientific evaluation. This report aims to provide an evaluation of current methodology and to propose some initial guidelines for future research. The value of research, especially that involving small sample sizes, can be enhanced by the application of consistent methodology and reporting enabling results to be compared across studies. This article includes guidelines for experimental design in studies involving the ridden horse. Equine ethograms currently used are reviewed and factors to be considered in the development of a ridden-horse ethogram are evaluated. An assessment of methods used to collect behavioral and physiological data is included and the use of equipment for measurements (e.g., rein-tension and pressure-sensing instruments) is discussed. Equitation science is a new discipline, subject to evolving viewpoints on research foci and design. Technological advances may improve the accuracy and detail of measurements but must be used within appropriate and valid experimental designs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-266
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavior
  • Equine
  • Equitation science
  • Ethogram
  • Horse-human interaction
  • Stress
  • Welfare


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