Skip to main content

Equitation Science

Equitation Science

Paul McGreevy, Andrew McLean

ISBN: 978-1-405-18905-7

Aug 2010, Wiley-Blackwell

326 pages


Written by two internationally recognised experts, Equitation Science is the first book to draw together the principles of this emerging field into a much-needed coherent source of information.

The goal of equitation science is to enhance our understanding of how horses think and learn, and to use their natural behaviour to train, ride or compete with them in as fair a manner as possible. The welfare consequences of training and competing horses under different protocols are explored. Drawing on traditional and emergent techniques, this book incorporates learning theory into an ethical equine training system suitable for all levels. It also focuses on evidence-based approaches that improve rider safety.

"Equitation Science is one of those rare books that is going to change the way we train and manage horses forever. It brings together a fundamental understanding of the way horses think and behave and presents a system of modern training that has the welfare of the horse at its core – it must be the foundation work for the next generation of professional and amateur riders and trainers. Riders will ride better, trainers will train better and we will have happier, healthier horses."
Wayne Channon, International Grand Prix Rider

"I found this a very interesting and enlightening book. Equitation Science will help anyone involved with horses to understand them more and to be more effective in their training and education. The knowledge this brings to anyone involved with horses should help to make the horses’ lives easier and therefore allow the partnership between humans and equines to flourish."
Yogi Breisner, British Eventing Performance Manager

"Equitation Science is an ambitious and thorough look at an enormous range of areas, approaches and factors concerning the training of horses. The authors have an underlying theme to their text of scientifically assessing and then also promoting the use of ethical and humane methods of horse training to increase all sport horses’ welfare and happiness within their sporting requirements. Equitation Science also provides an invaluable insight as to how and why what we do with our horses actually works."
Paul Tapner, Professional International Advanced Eventing Rider, Badminton CCI**** 2010 Winner

Related Resources


Contact your Rep for all inquiries

Buy Both and Save 25%!

This item: Equitation Science

Introduction to Horse Nutrition (Paperback $57.99)

Original Price:$121.98

Purchased together:$91.49

save $30.49

Cannot be combined with any other offers.

Buy Both and Save 25%!

This item: Equitation Science

Horse Business Management: Managing a Successful Yard, 4th Edition (Paperback $55.99)

Original Price:$119.98

Purchased together:$89.99

save $29.99

Cannot be combined with any other offers.

Buy Both and Save 25%!

This item: Equitation Science

Equine Nutrition and Feeding, 4th Edition (Paperback $87.99)

Original Price:$151.98

Purchased together:$113.98

save $38.00

Cannot be combined with any other offers.

Preface vii

Acknowledgements ix

1 The Quest for Knowledge 1

2 Cognitive Ethology 6

3 Anthropomorphism 36

4 Learning I: Non-associative 56

5 Learning II: Associative (Attractive) 70

6 Learning III: Associative (Aversive) 85

7 Applying Learning Theory 104

8 Training 128

9 Horses in Sport andWork 162

10 Apparatus 179

11 Biomechanics 198

12 Unorthodox Techniques 218

13 Fight and Flight Responses and Manifestations 225

14 Ethical Equitation 258

15 The Future of Equitation Science 265

Glossary of the Terms and Definitions and of Processes Associated with Equitation 273

References 289

Index 305

“This is a brilliant and extensive effort at explaining the science behind many common correct and incorrect horsemanship and training techniques. The first half on the science of behavior and learning theory will not be for all readers, but for those who persist, it builds the foundation for the second half where misbehaviors are dealt with from a scientific standpoint. This is an excellent addition to the scientific behavioral literature.”  (Doddy's, 20 April 2012)

'...the book is a must for every equine veterinary practice, equine training and teaching institution, and anyone concerned with horses who wants to be involved with their own individual training and development. It is a thought provoking textbook that will help the next generation of horse owners and equine enthusiasts to consider and reconsider their training and development protocols and will provide many others with the knowledge that what they are doing is right – and, more importantly, why it is right. Ultimately this book can only have a positive effect on the welfare of the horse and on the human– equine bond.' (The Vet Journal, December 2011)
  • A much-needed textbook and reference in the rapidly emerging field of Equitation Science
  • Incorporates learning theory into an ethical equine training system suitable for all levels of riders
  • Welfare of the horse and rider safety are key considerations
  • Written by international experts at the forefront of the development of the field