Hästunderstödda insatser ur hästens perspektiv : Hur påverkas hästen och hur kan dess välfärd främjas?

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från SLU/Dept. of Animal Environment and Health

Sammanfattning: Equine assisted interventions is an umbrella term which links operations and interventions that uses horses for the purpose of improving health and well-being amongst humans. Science have shown good health effects of equine assisted interventions and the interest of using horses in human care and education is increasing. However, knowledge and awareness about the welfare of the horses involved in equine assisted interventions is important for the safety and the quality of the interventions as well as for the ethical acceptance. Therefore, the aim of this literature study was to investigate what factors that can affect the welfare of the horses involved in equine assisted interventions, how the horse may be physiologically and behaviorally affected of horse-based interventions, as well as conclude guidelines for how the welfare of the horses can be promoted in equine assisted interventions. The results showed that the behaviour and attitude of humans involved in equine assisted interventions and environmental factors such as novel stimuli and social separation can affect the horse’s welfare during equine assisted interventions. The breed, experience and temperament of the horse can also influence how well the horse will manage challenging situations and thus how its welfare is affected of equine assisted interventions. The physiological and behavioral effects of horses in equine assisted interventions is not yet scientifically explained. Equine assisted interventions are characterized by a wide diversity of practice and human participants that affects the horse in many different ways. Future studies should take this into account and categorize equine assisted interventions depending on practice and participants to get clearer results about how the horses are affected. More research and attention to the horse’s perspective of equine assisted interventions are needed to guarantee the welfare of the horses. In conclusion, this study has led to a summary of a few guidelines (Appendix 1) as an attempt to promote the welfare of the horse in equine assisted interventions.

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