An evidence-based understanding of dangerous or unwelcome behaviour in horses would greatly benefit both horses and humans who interact with them. Using owner-reported data from the Equine Behaviour Assessment and Research Questionnaire (E-BARQ), the current study investigated in-hand behaviours associated with dangerous or unwelcome ridden behaviours, notably bolting, rearing and bucking. Respondents (n
= 1584) to the ridden horse section of the E-BARQ answered 42 demographic questions, followed by 268 behavioural items. Parallel analysis was conducted to group individual behaviours into rotated components to create independent and dependent indices. Multivariable general linear modelling and ordinal logistic regression were used to identify behaviours associated with bolting, rearing and bucking. Results revealed that safety-from-bolt increased as social confidence with horses (Odds ratio (OR) = 1.06; 95% confidence interval (cf = 1.02–1.09) and other animals (OR = 1.08; cf = 1.03–1.12), compliance in-hand (OR = 1.10; cf = 1.06–1.16) and tolerance of restraint (OR = 1.05; cf = 1.0–1.11) increased; and decreased as loading problems (OR = 0.95; cf = 0.92–0.99) increased. Safety-from-rear increased as tolerance of restraint (OR = 1.07; cf = 1.02–1.12) and social confidence with other animals (OR = 1.05; cf = 1.01–1.09) increased; and decreased as loading problems (OR = 0.94; cf = 0.91–0.98) increased. Safety-from-buck increased as social confidence with horses (b-value = 0.011, p
< 0.001) and other animals (b-value = 0.010, p
= 0.002), compliance in-hand (b-value = 0.015, p
< 0.001), tolerance of restraint (b-value = 0.009, p
= 0.027) and tolerance of haltering/bridling (b-value = 0.016, p
= 0.010) increased, and it decreased as loading problems increased (b-value = −0.011, p
< 0.001). By revealing, for the first time, that specific behaviours on the ground are associated with particular responses in the same horses when ridden, this study advances equitation science considerably. Identification of risk factors for dangerous behaviour while under saddle can improve safety for horses and riders and highlights the importance of effective and humane in-hand training.
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