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We would like to take this opportunity to Thank You for your continued support in 2019 and  welcome  2020  and our new subscribers 

“Listening To Your Horse”

This month an article was published in the international scientific journal 'Animals' titled ‘Improving the Recognition of Equine Affective States’. The study asked members of the equestrian community via Facebook and six qualified equine behaviourists to view and comment on six videos in which the horses were experiencing varying levels of distress such as; muscular tension, yawning, triangulated eye, pinned ears and tail swishing.

For those of us out there that love our horses, the results were actually quite upsetting and suggested in some circumstances we may be subjecting our friend to distress and fear unintentionally. The results revealed the videos featuring natural horsemanship and bridle-less riding were often wrongly interpreted to be positive experiences for the horses when in fact they were experiencing a great deal of anxiety and fear.

But as all of us know, our friends will still unselfishly, diligently serve our desires and requests we impose upon them and complete the task at hand. The subtle clues they provide us are to their detriment as often, as this research demonstrates, we cannot recognise them and actually we would only probably recognise and act upon some sort of explosive behaviour in which we would most likely punish them for being ‘naughty’. Interesting the results showed participant age and experience had little effect on the results however, responses from people who had selected “clicker training” as their preferred equestrian activity had similar responses to the equine behaviourists, suggesting they may be better at recognising equine distress than other members of the equestrian community.

A number of participants were able to identify negative affect in at least some of the videos, especially in conventional forms of riding but misinterpreted the behaviour in less traditional styles of horsemanship.

This study clearly emphasises the need for further training and education for equine care givers across all disciplines to enable us to provide better welfare for our horses, which consists of both physical and mental well-being. It is most definitely a piece of thought-provoking research and worth a read.
Please click on the link below to access the full article;
https://www.mdpi.com/20762615/9/12/1124…







 

“What a Year ”

“Duvet Day”

Not enough hours in the day, is your horse having to pay, the price of its sanity, for convenience.
This article written by Justine Harrison, looks at video, that recorded just 8hrs, of this horse in its stable. What a boring existence! As you can see the horse has nothing to do, only eat if ad lib forage is provided, drink, sleep and poo. I guess its the equivilant of being locked up in the loo, with the flush not working, with no phone, or other internet device, no book and nobody outside the door to talk to.

When you have a duvet day, I bet you have snacks, a box set, a phone or other device for browsing, a good book, or sometimes even good company. It's your choice. Consider what your horse would choose, should he/she choose to have a duvet day.
https://www.equinebehaviourist.co.uk/…/44p6v4bzehizbqnf8eq3…

What has our equine welfare officer been up to? 

Last month we attended an array of welfare calls including again  horses in flooded areas and challenges brought by adverse weather conditions. 
We were called out to a horse that was stuck in some fencing, also a large number of coloured horses that were on a very small bit of land. 
We assisted an owner with some training, for an overly friendly foal and how to set up boundaries, in a safe and empathetic way. 
We were called several times, about horses on our commons, being corralled, this however was known to the local commoners. 
There were also a few horses that appeared on private property, whereby local pet microchipping organisations got involved. We ensured that these organisations were aware of the law regarding straying equines and that they could not just be given away. in a park. 
Over the Christmas period, we were called to a stallion that was loose 
We also collaborated with other organisations including NEWC. (National Equine Welfare Council) regarding some ongoing issues. 
We also attended via conference call the British Horse Council, meeting at the beginning  of the month, where topics including the Licensing of Sanctuaries. A topic which we are very vocal about, was discussed. 

 

How can you support us? 



You can support us whilst you do your shopping! On Amazon Smile UK, just enter Communities For Horses as your chosen charity and Amazon will donate. 0.5% of the value of your order directly to us. The cost of your product does not change. 
https://smile.amazon.co.uk/ch/1180625-0 

 
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Thank you Monica Ward for your donation. We would also like to thank our regular donors Sarah Smith, Holly Thomas, Jenni Nellist and Liam Millinship for thier regular donations.
The donations that we receive enable us to cover some of the costs associated with attending welfare calls. Many of the calls that we attend allow us to change the welfare status of the horses for the better - whether the horse is compromised regarding mental, environmental or physical welfare.


To support us in making changes, you too can help. To donate please go to
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To offer support by means of volunteering, please contact us. enquiries@communitiesforhorses.org
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