Special Issue "Horses and Risk"
A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 October 2015)
Dr. Kirrilly Thompson
Associate Professor, The Appleton Institute, Central Queensland University, Wayville, SA 5034, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: human-animal relations; animal studies; risk perception; risk mitigation; risk management; equine anthrozoology; safety; culture; horses; behavior change; natural disasters and emergencies; ethnography; mixed-methods research; Spain; bullfighting
Human-horse relations are rare amongst human-animal relations for many reasons. Some reasons are taken for granted, such as the fact that horses are one of the few species that humans ride. Other factors distinguishing human-horse interactions are better recognised, namely the risk of serious injury or death to riders, drivers and handlers. Horses can weigh more than 600 kilos and reach speeds around 60 km/h. They bite, kick, buck, rear, leap, trample, crush, trip and fall. As herd animals, they are mutually reactive. As plains dwellers, they can become aggressive in confined spaces. As prey, they refuse to trade their flight instinct for domestication. Even the most trained horse is never fully predictable. Whilst these risks are tolerated, accepted and even sought by some equestrians they can be managed or reduced. However, risk calculation is required to identify areas of greater or lesser risk and to evaluate social and technical risk-reduction strategies. This issue answers recent calls for research into the risks of human-horse interactions by considering risk calculation, analysis, assessment, perception, reduction and mitigation.
Contributions are invited that consider risk from a variety of origins, including but not limited to:
- Horse-related risks to humans (e.g., zoonoses such as Hendra virus, kicks and falls, occupational risks, contamination of horse meat destined for human consumption);
- Human-related risks to horses (e.g., the deaths of two horses at the 2014 Melbourne Cup, wastage in the racing industry, traditional husbandry practices that conflict with horse ethology, climate change, the medical use of horses for food or hormone production);
- Interspecies risk generated in the human-horse relation (e.g., horse owners failing to evacuate properties under fire threat, difficulty of matching horses and riders according to skill and training).
Dr. Kirrilly Thompson
Manuscript Submission Information
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- behaviour change