All about education, empowerment and knowledge – EBSI provides owners and practitioners with scientific, evidence-based information and training tools in order to ensure that equine welfare is promoted and protected at all times throughout the training and management process of horses, and that human safety is maintained while still gaining the desired performance outcomes from your horse.
Every behaviour has a reason, a motivation for taking place, in the same way that every behaviour has a consequence or an effect. This is the basic principle of cause and effect – and equine behaviour is no exception.
Mark Rashid, an American trainer and author of Whole Heart, Whole Horse: Building Trust Between Horse and Rider, says that:
“One of the primary ways horses communicate with us is through their behavior. Again, it is my belief horses don’t distinguish between how they feel and how they act. So if they act a certain way, their actions are reflecting the way they feel. A horse’s body then becomes a mirror for their emotions. So the body informs us of what is truly going on internally.
Behavioural responses are a form of non-verbal communication and body language is the horse’s primary form of communication since they are mainly non-verbal communicators. By paying attention to how the horse is behaving, we are receiving clues as to how the horse is feeling, thinking and experiencing the environment at that present moment.
Behaviour isn’t static – it changes as the animal adapts to new environments, new circumstances. While inherent needs remain programmed as instinctive responses, horses are continuously learning from each other, their environment, and from us, and are adapting their behaviour to better meet their needs. Because of this we can’t just rely on tradition and ‘how we always did it’ anymore. Our practices must also evolve in order to meet the changing needs of domestic horses. This is why scientific studies and new research is so important. The more we study and observe the equine species the more we learn how to improve our management and training practices in order to create contexts that enable good equine welfare and well-being.
EBSI is quite simply all about educating, empowering and sharing knowledge.
Evidence-based research and studies are extremely valuable in promoting good equine welfare, however not all the information can be easily understood or applied. By showing how the information is relevant to every-day management and training situations, and how horse owners and practitioners can use and apply the knowledge to improve welfare, safety and performance, we create empowered equine handlers that can confidently apply best-practice principles.