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The match between horse and rider

Axel-Nilsson, Malin (2015). The match between horse and rider. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2015:98
ISBN 978-91-576-8394-6
eISBN 978-91-576-8395-3
[Doctoral thesis]

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A successful relationship between horse and rider is a partnership based on compatibility and is often referred to as a good match. In the present thesis, ‘match’ includes the good interaction, interplay and cooperation between horse and rider as well as the related positive experience. A good horse-rider match is important for horse welfare, rider safety and good performance. The aim of this thesis was to investigate which parameters riders consider important for a good match, if horse temperament and rider personality affect the horse-rider match, and how this can be measured.

Using a survey, the first study showed that riders consider behavioural traits as relevant to a good horse-rider match. It was shown that both age, preferred equitation discipline and to some extent level of experience had an influence on the riders’ opinion of which behavioural traits in horses were most relevant.

The second study included a battery of behavioural tests designed to measure individual differences in response to challenges including human approach, isolation, handling and a novel object. The horses showed consistent responses between repetitions of the tests and could be divided in four temperamental categories.

The third and final study investigated how quality in horse-rider match is affected by the combination of rider personality and horse temperament, and how this can be
measured. Horses-rider dyads with different combinations of rider personality and horse temperament underwent tests including both handling and riding. Three types of
indicators to measure and evaluate match were identified and applied: A) rider perception B) horse behaviour and C) the horse-rider combination’s effectiveness in accomplishing a task together. It was shown that rider personality and horse temperament have an effect on match quality, as measured with change in riders’ level of positive affect.

This thesis provides a stepping stone to obtain a deeper insight into how good horse-rider match is defined, measured and realised. Harmonisation in the descriptions of match and horse behaviour and further development of appropriate measures is needed.

Authors/Creators:Axel-Nilsson, Malin
Title:The match between horse and rider
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :2015
Depositing date:24 September 2015
Number of Pages:73
IAxel-Nilsson M., Peetz-Nielsen P., Visser E. K., Nyman S., Blokhuis H.J. (2015). Perceived relevance of selected behavioural traits in horses - A survey conducted in Sweden. Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section A Animal Science, DOI:10.1080/09064702.2015.1047791
IIAxel-Nilsson M., van Reenen K., Visser E.K., Nyman S., Blokhuis H.J. Categorization of horses based on multidimensional results of temperament tests. (Manuscript)
IIIAxel-Nilsson M., Visser E. K., Nyman S., Hultgren J., Blokhuis H.J. Positive affect as a measure of horse-rider match. (Manuscript)
Place of Publication:Uppsala
Publisher:Department of Animal Environment and Health, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-8394-6
ISBN for electronic version:978-91-576-8395-3
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:L Animal production > L01 Animal husbandry
L Animal production > L20 Animal ecology
L Animal production > L70 Veterinary science and hygiene - General aspects
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Behavioural Sciences Biology
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 402 Animal and Dairy Science > Animal and Dairy Science.
Agrovoc terms:saddle horses, animal behaviour, human behaviour, psychological factors, training, questionnaires
Keywords:Häst, Ryttare, Match, Temperament, Personlighet, Beteendetest, Enkät
Permanent URL:
ID Code:12635
Faculty:VH - Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science
Department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health
Deposited By: Malin Axel-Nilsson
Deposited On:24 Sep 2015 13:52
Metadata Last Modified:10 Sep 2020 13:41

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