Hästhållningen i Ängelholms kommun - ur hästens välfärdsperspektiv
Sammanfattning: An interview study of horsemanship has been conducted in the community of Ängelholm. The study is part of a larger project, where a further four students who are writing their thesis’ have conducted interviews in Lerum, Hässleholm, Nyköping and Enköping, a total of 52 horse holders in 5 different communities. The collective results are summarised in "Hur hålls hästarna i Sverige och vilka är motiven" by Catharina Svala. The purpose of this larger report has been to examine why Swedish horsemanship is the way it is today through communication with the various horse holders. The thesis will become the basis for a further study where proposals can be put forward on how horsemanship can be better adjusted to suit the need of both the horses and the horseholders and with less effect on the environment, in a dialog with the horseholders and the planning department.From the interviews conducted in the community of Ängelholm, the answers surrounding the methods and techniques used for weaning and systems for horse keeping from an animal welfare point of view are highlighted. How the term animal welfare should be described and defined has long been a topic of discussion between researchers and society and the answer is not one of objective terms. The results showed that single box systems are by far the dominating system for holding horses. This system was also propagated as the only system for housing competitive horses due to the risk of injuries to the horses. These arguments were put firmer forth by those whose economy was a larger part of the equation. Some horse holders commented that it wasn’t possible to do it any other way than with single boxes. "The stables have been like that for the past fifty years". A few commented that the risk of injury to the workers was also accounted for when choosing the system.The biggest problem in horse holding evident in the interviews was lack of knowledge and lack of competence from others who have horses. Much revolved around that others do things in the wrong ways. Ideas of how the future of horse holding might be like veered towards loose house systems, an alternative which could benefit mares, foals and young horses. Other positive aspects were that it would be an easier system for the handlers to manage due to being able to gather the dung using tractors.The horses in Ängelholm seem mainly to be handled by people who regard themselves to be "horse people". After conducting these interviews it appears that strong traditions are the main force in limiting development and therefore the biggest problem in horsemanship. There is a large amount of knowledge and research on alternative methods for horse holding with more beneficial effects on the horses’ psychological wellbeing which could be adopted by horse holders. Unfortunately, lack of interest in these new methods from the horse holders themselves may be the main problem. Values which do not grow themselves but are instead imposed upon from outside influences will always be opposed. The limitations for changing a system is often the unwillingness of those involved to change. Thus it is important to change this, not least in the case of horse holders. Apparently there is not as much thought given to change, as there is given to the opinion that too many others don’t know how things should be done. There is already a will to form loose housing systems, and maybe that will could drive people to aim for a horsemanship more natural for the horses, and which is also more practical for the horse holders.
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