ISES torsdag 19 juli

A. Gandy – Software for riders to measure asymmetries in horse and rider: Lots about the software, but interestingly, in one try for the software, it happened to show that the horse's asymmetry influences the rider more than the other way around. Though the finding was not a proper study, just a byproduct.

Uta König v Borstel – Alternatives to evaluate rideability: Rideability has primarily to do with the rider's feeling, and is missing in guidelines, with skewed scores and a lack of inter-observer reliability, present situation being useless! Both intensity and steadiness of rein contact can be measured, but scored a variation by judges assessing by eye.
Katalijne Visser – Trainers and scientists differ when scoring stress-related behaviours: Over ear signals they did agree (not surprisingly). Other signals even had differences between scientists. Scientists and practitioners need to develop a working horse ethogram together, scientists need to see the horse as a whole picture, like professional trainers do, instead of different body parts.
Theresa? Ward – Assessment of a novel saddle: Can we get something that is both flexible and distribute the rider's weight? 27 procent, 27 procent och 30 procent av ryttarens vikt fördelas över bakre delen av mitten, främre delen av mitten respektive främre delen av sadeln, resten av vikten är på bakre delen av sadeln. On a small circle of sitting trot, weight gets much more even in an AT saddle (prototype based on a 'Dynamically Rigged System' in a V-W configuration) than in a conventional. To study the rear of the saddle is as important as the front. AT saddle distributed weight better overall.
Plenarföreläsning med Andrew McLean – Distilling equitation science; objectivity versus subjectivity: Our own perceptions are sometimes the biggest stumbling stone, as we tend to be using human characteristics when we describe horse behaviour. Does the experiment suggest or prove anything? What is objective may be described subjectively.
Does the horse understand, know, think ahead, feel guilt, remorse? It's easy to see the ritualized aggression in a pecking order, but a problem is, it focuses on the horse's character and not on what the trainer does. Learning theory turns the mirror towards the trainer.
Glucocosteroids can adversely affect learning, the immune system, the gut. Fearful behaviours are reinforced by escape.
Habituation; gradually approaching, immobilising, but may get flooding and escape behaviour.
Approach conditioning; habituates to objects that it chases (but may give flooding and escape) where stopping and starting again motivates the horse to chase.
Blending habituation; blending an aversive object with a non-aversive (risk of flooding and escape).
Overshadowing habituation; when two or more stimuli are presented, only one will be responded to, the other one undergoes habituation (risk flooding and escape); handler elicits stop and go at the same time as other stimulus.
Counter conditioning habituation; when a former aversive stimulus is transformed into a non-aversive. 
Joanna Hockenhull – Assessing impact of novice rider hand position on conflict behaviour in riding school horses: Over a six week period the riders improved and the horses showed decrease in conflict behaviour.
Miroslava Pokorna – How to motivate horses to cooperate: Horses that do not cooperate during tests.  Factors: not understanding of learning theory, slow motivation, badly designed tests, tests being above ability.  Only individual learning ability counted, then ability predicted by the owner showed accordingly. 
Janne W Christensen – Object habituation: Higher HR in h horses forced to approach scary object than horses being let loose, who stopped a bit away and explored. On day two the objects were moved further into the arena. Investigative behaviour was more intense from a distance. Encourageing horses facilitates habituation, but gives higher stress levels, letting the horse investigate from a distance is less stressful. 
Uta König v Borstel – Influence of familiarity with the rider on the horse's fear reactions:   No difference in private and riding school horses, but markedly in police horses (used to the same rider) when changed rider, in time spent to approach an object. Difference in HR on private horses with an unfamiliar rider. The higher the rider's HR the longer it took to approach, also the horse's HR and more so with familiar rider. Level of reactivity and type of work plays a part, just like difference in personality.
Plenarföreläsning med Wayne Channon  –  A rider's view on the road ahead: Training simplicity, clarity, consistency, a system. The current systems work, the top riders and trainers know they will get results and will not change. The problem is they are not systematic. The scientific system shows what works and what doesn't, f ex inside leg to outside rein, but is not needed on an advanced horse and on one with special problems.
Rider: what do elite riders do, how do they really ride? There is often a strong contact, timing of the aids/cues differ between elite and normal, but is there a common denominatior? Sports psychology, how to compete. Resonance in trot and canter; elite sit in a certain way, how to achieve.
Welfare: resistance, training or pain? We need a biometric test that could find deviations from the norm. Conformation for equestrian sport; influence on performance of small deviations. Repair; stem cells treating within 30 days gives 100 percent return to competition and 4 percent re-injury rate in tendons. But what about prophylactic, dosage, frequency, bone marrow, core blood? 
Dressage scoring, theoretically it cannot be more accurate than +-2,5 percent. We need to simplitfy the judgeing task.
Ethical agenda; mistakes are amplified on the internet, anyone can comment, same visibility, makes us all accountable for our actions.
FEI need to take ethical high ground and work together with science, evidence based. 
Cathrynne Henshall – Escape and avoidance, radio car as the leader in round-pen horse training: Positive reinforcement/food when the horse followed car in round pen.  Car signalling its horn until the horse gave avoidance response. Fearful horses avoided the radio car most, not fearful could react aggressively (and eventually stomped on it). Round pen training relies on particularly fear, rather than the trainer mimicking horse behaviour, and should be undertaken with caution.
Gemma Pearson – Do vets need to understand learning technique? 'Most days or every day' a frequent answer to 'do you put yourself in danger in your work?' Use negative reinforcement to place responses go, stop, back up under stimulus control, repeat, avoid allowing the horse to escape, prevents fear responses in horses and reduces stress and risk of injury to people and horses.
Daune West – Application of systems science to classical dressage: A mental construct, learning within context rather than optimizing. The Appreciative Inquiry Method being a rigorous but 'soft' systems-based approach that involves exploring and modelling purposeful human activity, allowing insight into the thoughts, feelings, motivations and practices of two classical riders/trainers. Useful to understand the purpose and purposeful human activity systems and can help to develop an enriched appreciation of the complex relationships between humans and horses.


De gröna kullarna vid veterinärhögskolan i strålande sol!


Jag ingick i vinnande lag ifråga om att identifiera andra konferensdeltagare. Vinsten smakade utmärkt.


Så mulnade det över igen, de gröna kullarna låg aldrig i samma ljus.


Lättåtkomliga promenadkullar även centralt i Edinburgh; Carlton Hill med utsikt över bukten.


Konferensmiddagen inleddes i god tradition, en deltagare hade engagerat sin son, som blåste väl.



Kvällens nattvandring med ständigt anslående utsikt mot Edinburgh castle.