The Equine Behaviour Assessment and Research Questionnaire (E-BARQ) is a questionnaire instrument developed to obtain quantitative data on the domestic equine triad of training, management, and behaviour of horses. The E-BARQ was developed to identify how changes in training and management impact behaviour over time, to define normal behaviour in horses, and to discover how to improve rider safety and horse welfare, leading to ethical equitation. During the development of the E-BARQ, we also investigated how best to motivate stakeholders to engage with this citizen science project. The pilot version of the E-BARQ collected qualitative data on respondents’ experience of the questionnaire. The pilot questionnaire was developed with the assistance of an international panel (with professional expertise in horse training, equitation science, veterinary science, equestrian coaching, welfare, animal behaviour, and elite-level riding), and was used to collect data on 1320 horses from approximately 1194 owner/caregiver respondents, with an option for respondents to provide free-text feedback. A Rotated Principal Component Analysis of the 218 behavioural, management, and training questionnaire items extracted a total of 65 rotated components. Thirty-six of the 65 rotated components demonstrated high internal reliability. Of the 218 questionnaire items, 43 items failed to reach the Rotated Principal Component Analysis criteria and were not included in the final version of the E-BARQ. Survey items that failed the Rotated Principal Component Analysis inclusion criteria were discarded if found to have a less than 85% response rate, or a variance of less than 1.3. Of those that survived the Rotated Principal Component Analysis, items were further assigned to horse temperament (17 rotated components), equitation (11 rotated components), and management and equipment (8 rotated components) groups. The feedback from respondents indicated the need for further items to be added to the questionnaire, resulting in a total of 214 items for the final E-BARQ survey. Many of these items were further grouped into question matrices, and the demographic items for horse and handler included, giving a final total of 97 questions on the E-BARQ questionnaire. These results provided content validity, showing that the questionnaire items were an acceptable representation of the entire horse training, management, and behavioural domain for the development of the final E-BARQ questionnaire.
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