Travel & Outdoor
Horses and People

Horses and People March - April 2019

Horses and People is an Australian publication full of educational articles written by industry experts, promoting sustainable horse management and training practices with a special emphasis on safeguarding and improving horse welfare. Horses and People has over the last 20 years become a reliable source of up to date information about products and services available to any and all horse owners whatever their discipline.

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6 Issues

in this issue

4 min.
from the editor

Welcome to the March/April issue of Horses and People Magazine. I hope you are as thrilled as I am with this month’s wide range of thought-provoking contributions and I look forward to hearing your personal feedback. This issue is packed-full of interesting and different perspectives and it is perhaps fitting, because I have spent the past few days surrounded by a most diverse group of influential and forward-thinking representatives from all equestrian and equine-related sectors. I write this having just returned from the Sport Horse Welfare and Social Licence to Operate event hosted by Horse SA, where 50 participants heard from Emeritus Professor David Mellor about his five domains model of animal welfare assessment and from Martin Burns, who explained how New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing are applying this tool in developing world-leading…

6 min.
this month’s contributors

Dr GEORGINA DOWNEY Georgina is an art historian who has published extensively on the domestic interior. Her books include Domestic Interiors: Representing Home from the Victorians to the Moderns, (2013) and Designing the French Interior: The Modern Home and Mass Media (2015). Integrating her love of horses and riding, recent publications include ‘Unstable relations: horses in interior spaces’ for the Australasian Animal Studies Association 2015 conference and, ‘Becoming-horse in Contemporary Art’ forthcoming, for Artlink. She is the human of Classic, the dressage schoolmaster, and Angas the Cairn terrier. Photo by Lisa McDonald. JILL GRIFFITHS Jill is a freelance writer specialising in agriculture and environment. She has a BSc in Biology and a Graduate Diploma in Journalism. Through her work, Jill is fortunate to interact with leading researchers across Australia, providing her with access…

8 min.
a life filled with horses

Featured on our cover this month are Rebecca Vella and her ten-year-old, Clydie-Percheron-Paint mare Taylor’s Legacy, also known as ‘Snow’, and photographed by the talented Olya Tutova from 42beats Photography. Although she missed out on a childhood filled with horses, Rebecca made up by moving to the country as soon as she was old enough and diving straight into horse-ownership. She now keeps her horses at her and her partner Shaun Gatt’s property, where he trains harness racing horses as a hobby. “Growing up we always wanted horses but couldn’t afford them so, as soon as I moved out of home into a farm, I got my first horse, a Clydie-Percheron mare called Taylor. “I was 21 and had never ridden before, and Tay was very patient with me” says Rebecca. “With the…

7 min.
the unicorn

…And “the Loveliest of All” was the Unicorn! This month we explore the unicorn; from its distinctly not-so-cute past in myth, art and history to its sparkly, commodified image today. One characteristic of the unicorn that rings true for today’s horse people lies in the unicorn’s perennial concern in helping humans in our endeavours, even at the risk of its own wellbeing. Unicorns are generous spirited, playful, kind, elusive, and magical. The unicorn, this little horse-ette ‘with benefits’ [the horn] is currently a global craze; blink, and you will see a logo of one. However, back in the mists of time, the unicorn was far more than a new addition to the social media emoji palette - it was a powerful symbol that captured people’s imaginations, maybe because it was such a positive, yet…

6 min.
you’re anthropomorphising! but is it all that bad?

It might be a mouthful to pronounce, but anthropomorphism does not need to be hard to swallow. Anthropomorphisation is, literally, the application of human (anthropos) form (morpho) to animals and is, essentially, the attribution of human characteristics to animals. Anthropomorphising is understanding animals on human terms – not their own. Given that animals are different to humans, anthropomorphising is usually considered as false and misleading – something of a barrier to understanding how animals might perceive their own world. However, humans are animals too and this is where things get interesting. The negative view of anthropomorphisation with which we are usually faced is only one side of the story. Can anthropomorphisation actually help humans understand non-human animals like horses? In this article, I move away from a discussion about whether or not anthropomorphism is…

5 min.
the shocking use of ‘jiggers’ in racing

Racehorse trainer Darren Weir did not contest three charges for alleged possession of electronic devices used to give shocks to horses, according to a statement released by Racing Victoria on 5th February. The statement said assistant trainer Jarrod McLean would contest a charge for allegedly possessing a similar electric shocking device. The charges against both are to be heard on a date to be fixed by the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board. They stem from January raids at Victorian properties when Victoria Police seized four electric devices, known as “jiggers”. But this latest issue highlights inconsistencies in our attitudes to the use of aversive devices on animals in general. Racing Victoria’s chief executive Giles Thompson said today the incident was a “bruising for the reputation of the industry”. One of Australia’s most respected equine veterinary…