The Good Life

Social licence to operate.  Everyone’s talking about it.  Public approval to do the horse sports.  What is the public approving exactly?  Being nice to horses?  Recognising their sentience? Acknowledging their animal rights? What are their rights? How do people understand “sentience”? What difference does it make if an animal is sentient or not?  Emotions –Continue reading “The Good Life”

Human-animal relationships in south-east Turkey, a behaviourist’s personal perspective

There has been a more widespread move towards keeping dogs as pets over the last ten years in some areas, interesting sociologically and behaviourally. Two signs of (relatively) greater affluence in a locality are more estate agents and the emergence of pet shops. The introduction of trap-neuter-return (TNR) policies, animal welfare legislation and municipally-funded animalContinue reading “Human-animal relationships in south-east Turkey, a behaviourist’s personal perspective”

Born Feral?

Our new paper discusses how the term “feral” is constructed and understood. Link to open access article below. Abstract This paper examines the use of the term “feral” as a form of control over other animals. The concept of this “power word” is explored within the context of what it means for those who findContinue reading “Born Feral?”

New Anthrozoology Podcast

Please enjoy our first anthrozoology podcast! Horses and dogs included! We discussed the concept of nonhuman and human animals being “feral”: What does it mean to us when nonhuman animals “are feral”? What might it mean for the nonhuman animals? How does this relate to our research? How does legislation use the term “feral” andContinue reading “New Anthrozoology Podcast”

Can you spot a stressed horse?

Last December I and my colleagues published a paper describing one of our research studies, in the peer-reviewed journal Animals.  As the Equine Behaviour and Training Association (EBTA) we investigated how horse owners, riders and trainers recognise signs of equine stress. We found that equestrians often fail to recognise the behavioural signs that horses displayContinue reading “Can you spot a stressed horse?”

New book: The Horse: A natural history

I’m proud, delighted and very pleased with my new recently published book, co-authored with Catrin Rutland, Associate Professor of Anatomy and Developmental Genetics at Nottingham Trent University. An evolutionary, anatomical, behavioural and anthrozoological overview aimed at equine professionals, enthusiastic amateurs and undergraduates, it’s an easily-readable and accessible book that has been academically peer reviewed byContinue reading “New book: The Horse: A natural history”

The animal welfare baby and the animal rights bathwater 

The chief executive of World Horse Welfare has called for a “social licence” between the wider public and the horse industry. Gone are the days when lay people deferred to “expert” horse people as to which practices were acceptable and which were not; today the pressure from other parts of society on the treatment ofContinue reading “The animal welfare baby and the animal rights bathwater “

On becoming horse; on becoming human

A study published in the journal Social Anthropology suggests that riders and horses can together enter into a unique state of interspecies “co-being”, where human and horse evolves to “fit” better with each other, both physically and mentally. Anita Maurstad, PhD, a professor at Norway’s University of Tromsø and Dona Davis, PhD and Sarah CowlesContinue reading “On becoming horse; on becoming human”

War Horses conference, London, April 2014

A great opportunity to discuss horses in war in the widest contexts – anthrozoological, geographical, historical, political…. The organisers are calling for papers, contact them for more information, see link below.