Human–Animal Relationships in Equestrian Sport and Leisure: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Human–Animal Relationships in Equestrian Sport and Leisure

1st Edition

By Katherine Dashper


194 pages | 15 B/W Illus.

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Riding, training and caring for horses are visceral experiences that require the immersion of both body and mind. This book provides an in-depth understanding of human–horse relationships and interactions as embodied in equestrian sport and leisure.

As a closely focused ethnographic study of the horse world, it explores the key themes of partnership and collaboration in human–horse communication, the formation of individual and collective identities performed through involvement in the horse world, and human–horse interaction as an embodied way of being. This book argues that encounters between humans and horses can reveal the ways that human society has been and continues to be structured through intersection with nonhuman others. Equestrian sport and leisure provides an apt context for considering how such concepts of interspecies communication and collaboration are negotiated, managed, (mis)understood and performed, resulting in a uniquely embodied way of knowing and being in the world.

Human–Animal Relationships in Equestrian Sport and Leisure is fascinating reading for anyone interested in equestrianism, human-animal studies, theories of embodiment, the sociology of sport, or sport and social theory.


"[This book is] of paramount interest for many academic fields. [It] contributes to human-animal studies and provides exciting new insights about sport and leisure, society, gender and identity performance in the past and in our own time." - Susanna Hedenborg, Department of Sport Sciences, Malmo University

"All in all, the book is a very easy read and the references at the end of each chapter could provide years of interesting reading. Putting what is or was essentially a hobby or leisure activity into scientific and sociological terms is an avenue open for further exploration and the Author, I believe, has made a brilliant start to research in this area." - Judith Turner, Euqine Behaviour Forum

Table of Contents


1. Introduction: Welcome to the Horse World

2. Human and Animal: Co-being and Co-becoming

3. The Yard

4. Training

5. The Hack

6. Competition

7. The Horse World Online

8. Conclusions: Human-Animal Relationships in Equestrian Sport and Leisure



About the Author

Katherine Dashper is a Senior Lecturer in Events Management at Leeds Beckett University, UK. She specializes in the social and cultural aspects of sport, leisure and events. She has expertise in relation to gender and equality, and in researching encounters between human and nonhuman animals in a variety of sport, leisure and event spaces. Much of her research has focused on equestrian sport and leisure. Drawing on theoretical insights from human-animal studies, she is interested in exploring the role of nonhuman animals within human leisure and the interspecies relationships that can develop through joint action and interaction

About the Series

Routledge Research in Sport, Culture and Society

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