Equine Cultures in Transition : Ethical Questions book cover
1st Edition

Equine Cultures in Transition
Ethical Questions

ISBN 9780367582005
Published June 30, 2020 by Routledge
268 Pages

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Book Description

Societal views on animals are rapidly changing and have become more diversified: can we use them for our own pleasure, and how should we understand animal agency? These questions, asked both in theoretical discourses and different practices, are also relevant for our understanding of horses and the human–horse relation.

Equine Cultures in Transition stands as the first volume to bring together ethical questions of the new field of human–horse studies. For instance: what sort of ethics should be developed in relation to the horse today: an egalitarian ethics or an ethics that builds upon asymmetrical relations? How can we understand the horse as a social actor and as someone who, just like the human being, becomes through interspecies relations? Through which methods can we give the horse a stronger voice and better understand its becoming? These questions are not addressed from a medical or ethological perspective focused on natural behaviour, but rather from human acknowledgement of the horse as a sensing, feeling, acting, and relational being; and as a part of interspecies societies and relations.

Providing an introductory yet theoretically advanced and broad view of the field of post humanism and human animal studies, Equine Cultures in Transition will appeal to students and researchers interested in fields such as human–animal studies, political sociology, animals and ethics, animal behaviour, anthropology, and sociology of culture. It may also appeal to riders and other practitioners within different horse traditions.

Table of Contents

Introduction: subjectivity and ethical questions in an equestrian world in transformation


Part I

Horses at work

1 Horses’ labour and work-lives: new intellectual and ethical directions


2 Working cowhorses in multispecies encounters


3 Who is the horse? Horse assisted therapy as a possibility for understanding horses


4 Martha Nussbaum’s capability approach and equine assisted therapy: an analysis for both humans and horses

HenrikLerner and GunillaSilfverberg

Part II

Leadership, power, and training methodology

5 Put the horse in place: on communicative practices in horse–human relationships


6 Power, ethics, and animal rights

Paul Patton

7 Between behaviourism, posthumanism, and animal rights theory: negative and positive reinforcement in liberty dressage

UllaEkström von Essen and JonnaBornemark

Part III

Problematic practices?

8 He loves to race – or does he? Ethics and welfare in racing


9 Descriptive Falsterbo Moments – or the art of equestrian photography made popular

Crispin PareliusJohannessen

10 Dressage dilemmas: ethics where sport and art collide

Kirrilly Thompson

11 wriding

Marie Fahlin

Part IV

Negotiations in contemporary dressage

12 Riders’ understanding of the role of their horse in sports dressage

MariZetterqvistBlokhuisand PetraAndersson

13 A bifocal perspective on the riding school: on Lévinas and equine faces

David Redmalm

14 What do trainers teach their riders about horses and riding? An interaction analysis study of sports dressage training

Charlotte Lundgren


Part V

Horse keeping

15 Interpreting animals in spaces of cohabitance: narration and the role of animal agency at horse livery yards

NoraSchuurman and Alex Franklin

16 Perspectives on horse keeping and welfare in peri-urban landscapes

MonicaHammer, Madeleine Bonow, and Mona Petersson


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Jonna Bornemark is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the Centre for Studies in Practical Knowledge, Södertörn University, Sweden.

Petra Andersson is a researcher in Practical Philosophy at University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Ulla Ekström von Essen is Associate Professor in History of Ideas at the Centre for Studies in Practical Knowledge at Södertörn University, Sweden.


"The studies presented in the book are long-awaited. It is the first volume bringing together ethical questions of interspecies relationships in several contexts...this volume brings together advanced new theoretical frameworks, inspiring empirical studies and compelling methodological suggestions challenging, stimulating and provoking our understanding of humans, horses and their practices and relationships." - Susanna Hedenborg, Malmö University