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Non EBF Events

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This may be of interest:


On 19th November Judith Turner and Alison Averis went as representatives of the EBF to the conference and workshop on 'Misbehaving or misunderstood? - why horses need educated owners', sponsored by CEVA and held at the BHS headquarters in Abbey Park, Stoneleigh. 

The theme of the day was 'how to help disseminate appropriate, practical behaviour advice to horse-owning members of the public' with the aim of improving equine welfare and human safety and enjoyment. 

There were about 70 people there, with representatives from academia, the veterinary and farriery professions, equine behaviourists, the welfare charities, the International Society for Equitation Science and the British Horse Society.  Everyone present had already accepted the need for horse care and training to be based on sound scientific evidence; the question was how to make this information more palatable to the wider public. 

The talks and workshops were about identifying the welfare and behavioural issues that most riders deal with, and thinking of ways to help.  There was a general agreement that most owners miss the subtle early signs of behavioural problems and by ignorance, inappropriate reinforcement and the effects of peer pressure end up with bigger problems that they can't manage - and that this is compounded by them getting poor-quality unregulated advice from other owners and those with something to sell.  As for what to do about it, ideas included getting behavioural science incorporated into the BHS curricula (the BHS are keen on this) so that instructors are teaching the right thing from pony club level onwards; involving more people from the competitive disciplines; getting articles and case studies into the mainstream magazines with the aid of marketing advice; producing interactive computer programs; and making it easier for people to find out whether advice is reputable or not. 

The EBF will now be involved in providing the good advice and in getting it out to the public.  Although there isn't a corporate EBF opinion,  both the journal and the website are run on lines that agree with the current scientific consensus, so we're able to be one of the trusted sources of advice for the public. 

There will be a full report in the Spring 2016 issue, but meanwhile thanks very much to the EBF for financial support.