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Dissecting the Dance

In an era when the glare of the media reaches beyond catastrophic breakdown of racing horses to other equestrian events such as endurance racing, public pressure is building alongside growing intolerance of animal abuse and questionable training practices. “If we use animals for sport, they have certain rights,” says rider, scientist, and horse welfare advocate Dr. Andrew McLean. “The right to not be in pain, not suffering and not afraid. All horse sport is under the spotlight and this welfare philosophy should be the guiding tenet for all riders and trainers.” Humane training and equine learning theory With a PhD in horse cognition and learning, McLean’s goal is to use equine learning theory to clarify horse training and lift its veil of mystery for amateur and professional riders. “When people really understand about learning theory, they begin to understand they can make the horse’s welfare a lot worse, or a…

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