Sex datee barneveld

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We propose that the anthropomorphic application of gender stereotypes to animals influences human-animal interactions and human expectations, often with negative consequences for female animals. The questionnaire asked respondents to allocate three hypothetical horses a mare, gelding and stallion to four riders compromising a woman, man, girl and boy. Riders were described as equally capable of riding each horse and each horse was described as suitable for all riders.

Sex datee barneveld

Participants were also asked which horses mares, geldings or stallions were most suitable for the three equestrian disciplines of show-jumping, dressage and trail-riding. Binomial logistic regression revealed the girl had 2. In a forced choice selection of a positive or negative descriptor from a series of nine paired terms to describe horse temperament, a greater proportion of respondents ased geldings positive ratings on terms such as calm, trainable, reliable and predictable.

In terms of suitability for the three equestrian disciplines of show-jumping, dressage and trail-riding, participants overwhelmingly chose geldings for trail-riding, with mares being least preferred for both dressage and show-jumping disciplines. The suggest that female riders are entering the horse-human dyad with gendered ideas about horse temperament and view horse-riding as an activity primarily for women and girls.

This could have far-reaching implications for equine training and welfare. Humans, horses and temperament. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attributionwhich permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist. Historically, horses have been used in war, agriculture, and transport [ 1 ] but more recently horse-riding has transitioned to a sporting and leisure activity with an associated shift in attitudes toward horses as companion animals [ 23 ].

Sex datee barneveld

Today, opportunities to ride, own, handle and breed horses are readily available in many countries [ 45 ]. Equine attributes that are now valued extend beyond the functionality of the horse and include specific temperament and personality traits [ 67 ]. From the dressage arena to the Pony Club grounds, equids are purchased for their specific characteristics and temperament attributes [ 8 ].

Sex datee barneveld

Unlike companion dogs or cats that either remain as part of the same household their entire lives or are relinquished to shelters [ 9 ], horses are often seen as a commodity [ 1011 ]. Excessive and unregulated breeding in many countries [ 13 ] has resulted in supply far exceeding demand [ 14 ], the consequences of which are often reflected in poor welfare outcomes for animals [ 15 ].

Seemingly the most straightforward of these choices is sex which is anecdotally often the first to be settled. Buyers can choose from a mare intact femalea gelding castrated male or a stallion entire male. Most leisure riders choose not to own stallions because of complicated housing and management issues, not least among which is the recurrent need to separate stallions from oestrous mares. Scant published research exists on the effect of sex on equine trainability and personality attributes. Most studies report no differences in learning abilities or training outcomes between mares, geldings or stallions [ 16 — 22 ].

Temperament factors such as emotionality and fearfulness have been correlated with impaired learning in some studies [ 2324 ], but there are few reported data on how horse sex may affect the prevalence of such traits in domestic horses [ 2526 ]. Wolff et al. Sex differences in learning and behavior have been reported in young horses but learning tasks and therefore vary. Yearling fillies appeared to learn at an accelerated rate during early training compared to male horses during two learning tests [ 29 ].

That said, a later study revealed that yearling fillies were reported by their student handlers as being more anxious, aggressive and reactive than geldings during a basic handling program but achieved similar training outcomes at the conclusion of the program [ 30 ]. When learning and training outcomes are assessed on the basis of the achievement of training milestones, sex differences are not reported for example [ 2631 — 33 ]. While convention dictates that younger riders should be mounted on more experienced horses, due to the presupposition that such horses are safer, due to having been exposed to more potentially aversive stimuli, and having more established responses to correct rider cues, there is an absence of scientific evidence to confirm if mares, gelding or stallions are better suited to riders of a given age or gender.

In a preliminary study, Ille et al [ 34 ] found no differences in stress responses between horses ridden by male or female riders, suggesting perhaps that the gender of the rider may not matter to the horse. studies that have explored a range of equestrian topics by surveying amateur riders have predominantly included women as respondents chiefly because there are more female riders at amateur level [ 3536 ]. However, in equestrian events at the professional level, there are more male riders [ 37 ] and in amateur and professional rodeo, more men than women participate in competitive rodeo activities [ 38 ].

The aim of the current study was to determine whether gender of a rider plays a role in ideas and beliefs about the temperaments and ridden behavior of mares, geldings and stallions. The stud is known for its reliable horses. The following four riders arrive for a trail ride without a booking. There are only three horses availableso one person will miss out. Respondents were asked the following question:.

We were also interested in the terms that the participants associated with mares, geldings and stallions. Lastly, demographic information invited respondents to indicate their gender and age in years. Forums included Cyberhorse www. In addition, twenty-seven national breed associations were also ed to request the participation of members.

The survey was also spread through social media channels e. Facebook and participants were asked to encourage others to take part and recruit a large variety of people, both with and without horse-riding and handling experience. The survey opened on the 1st March and closed on the 1st June A de-identified participant code was included as a random effect to for multiple observations per participant. Similar to above, the de-identified participant codes were included as a random effect to for clustering. The final section of the survey asked respondents to choose a gelding, stallion or mare for a variety of riding disciplines.

Multinomial logistic regression analyses using the Logistic procedure were conducted to evaluate the effect of experience explanatory variable for nominating stallions, geldings and mares for trail ride, show-jumping and dressage outcome variables. One thousand two hundred and thirty-three people were surveyed. Riders with at least 8 years Values in parentheses are row percentages. Respondents were asked to as a gelding, stallion or mare to the man, woman, boy or girl, leaving one rider with no horse ased. More than half of the respondents allocated the gelding to the girl. The girl had 2.

The decision was the clearest when it came to deployment or otherwise of the stallion, with the adults being allocated that horse by almost all respondents and the man being given the stallion more often than the woman see Fig 2. Neither of the children was allocated the stallion to ride, other than by a handful of respondents see Fig 2.

The man was not allocated a horse twice as often as the woman and the girl and the boy was not allocated a horse most frequently. For selection of a rider for the stallion, the man had times the odds of being selected over the boy and the woman 72 times the odds of being selected over the boy Table 2. Human gender had a ificant influence on responses when participants allocated the mare.

Sex datee barneveld

Both the girl and the woman had twice the odds of being allocated the mare over the boy or the man Table 2. Logistic regression analyses indicated that respondents were about twice as likely to give importance to age over strength, with age having 2. Respondents were required to as one adjective of a dichotomour pair as an indicative attribute of gelding, stallion and mare. The are presented in Fig 4. The respondents considered stallions to be Trainable with Good attitudes but, at the same time, Bossy and Difficult. Mares scored highly as Safe and Trainablebut respondents were less sure about asing them attributes such as Easy-goingPredictable or Reliable.

Stallions received the least positive attributes.

Sex datee barneveld

Respondents were then asked which horses would be most likely to be seen competing in Dressage and show-jumping and, when given the choice of a gelding, stallion or mare, which horse the respondent would chose for trail-riding see Fig 5. Geldings were preferred over mares across all disciplines. Stallions and geldings were nominated as equally suitable for dressage by Most of the respondents, Compared to stallions, geldings were about eight times odds ratio: 7. On the other hand, both geldings and mares were less likely than stallions to be nominated for dressage than for show jumping odds ratio gelding vs.

Respondents with more riding experience were more likely to expect to see a stallion in the dressage arena and riders of all experience levels chose a gelding for trail-riding purposes see Fig 6. The figure shows discipline choice by rider experience level. Experienced riders were ificantly more likely to expect to see a stallion competing in the dressage arena compared to a gelding odds ratio: 1.

For trail-ride, experienced riders were more likely to expect to see a stallion odds ratio: 1. Our suggest that participants in this study, who were mainly female see Table 1hold preconceived ideas about horse temperament and suitability based on the sex of the horse and the age and gender of the rider.

The large proportion of female respondents in this study accurately reflects the gender distribution of riders in Australia, as found in many other studies [ 41 — 44 ]. Horse-rider allocation decisions must have been made based on rider gender, age and horse sex because the questionnaire described each horse as being suitable for any of the riders.

It is worth noting that several respondents objected to being forced to decide based on the limited information provided. Predictably, the stallion was almost always allocated to an adult, and preferentially, the man. The gelding was most often allocated towith the girl being ased the gelding more often than the boy and the mare more likely to be ased to the woman or the girl.

Sex datee barneveld

The most unexpected finding in this section of the survey was that the boy was not allocated a horse to ride by almost half of the respondents. Preference for female riders appears to extend to the adults, with the man failing to be allocated a ride twice as often as either the girl or the woman.

Among Australian children, girls participate in equestrian sports at substantially higher rates than boys [ 43 ]. The selection of the female rider instead of the man may reflect the dominance of women in horse-riding, its identification with women and the ways in which women privilege the transfer of horse-riding skills from one generation of women to the next. It may also result from anecdotal beliefs that females are better equipped to handle horses and particularly female horses, on of gender attributes such as empathy, risk-aversion, altruism and patience which have been identified in female gender stereotypes in multiple countries across varying economic situations and activities [ 46 — 48 ].

Conversely, this result may reflect beliefs that young males have less impulse control and are more inclined to engage in sensation-seeking behavior [ 49 ] which could place both the boy and the horse at risk of harm. While the data do not tell us which of these factors if any play a role in the decision, it is clear that there is a consistency of belief among the current respondents about the girl having the opportunity to ride the horse before the boy.

Further stereotypes and bias were encountered in the current study when respondents were invited to choose between dichotomous adjectives to characterize mares, geldings and stallions. The for geldings were clear and they were positively classified in each of the nine by almost all respondents.

Positive and negative attributes were mostly evenly spread for mares, with Bossy and Bad being the only negative factors ificantly attributed to them. Stallions scored very highly on Trainabilitybut at the same time were considered DifficultBossy and Dangerous. These suggest that female participants enter the horse-human dyad with specific ideas based on the sex of the horse.

Sex datee barneveld

Similar findings were reported when these same participants provided short text answers concerning their horse choice for particular disciplines [ 40 ]. We could also speculate that this set of ideas is also being transmitted from woman to girl riders and is part and parcel of the culture of horse-riding that sees horse-riding as a sport for girls and women, rather than for men and boys.

But just how accurate is this set of ideas that is being transmitted? Given that most studies of equine learning and temperament do not report sex influences on horse temperament, trainability or learning ability, including between geldings and stallions or mares and stallions, the reason respondents ased the term Bossy to mares and stallions but not geldings appears to reside in beliefs and is yet to be explored experimentally. While little research has yet been undertaken investigating the role that sex hormones play in riding and competing with stallions and mares, there is anecdotal evidence that stallions can become difficult to control, notably in the presence of mares in oestrus.

Owner gender and animal sex are reported to influence the interpretations of companion cat and dog behavior, including the behavior of de-sexed animals [ 5354 ]. Indeed, in male dogs this is an area of scientific enquiry that continues to yield surprising with desexing appearing to exacerbate many behaviors that were thought to be ameliorated by it [ 55 ]. Assuming the horse is behaving in a particular way based on its sex alone may lead riders, trainers and handlers to erroneous conclusions about horse behavior and a consequent failure to address the etiology of unwanted behavior.

Riders are in a position to exert a ificant influence over factors that affect horse behavior such as their individual riding skills, equipment use and the physical health of the horse [ 505256 ]. If the behavior of mares and stallions is interpreted as arising from gendered beliefs, rather than other causes, they may be at risk of having stress or pain-related behaviors ignored because of this bias. The attribute Bossywhich the current participants used to characterize both mares and stallions, is of concern.

The concepts of leadership and dominance are still commonly applied in horse training contexts and may encourage or justify the application of punishment [ 57 — 59 ]. Especially prevalent in Natural Horsemanship NH training philosophies, the dominance hierarchy view of human-horse interactions places the trainer as a herd leader with the horse required to be a submissive participant [ 60 ]. Under such conditions the Bossy horse is at risk of having any undesirable behavior interpreted as a lack of respect or as a hierarchical challenge rather than fear, pain or confusion.

Such an interpretation can lead directly to positive punishment of the unwanted behavior rather than diagnosis of its cause. The combination of bias and stereotyping will shape relationships with horses and likely have a detrimental effect on welfare if underlying pathologies or training failures are not addressed [ 5062 ]. A limitation of the current study is that respondents were required to choose between attributes which were selected by the authors. As such, respondents could not indicate if they did not believe that either attribute in each pair accurately reflected an equine sex-based attribute.

Additionally, respondents could not choose more than one category of horse for use in each discipline, so the may not accurately reflect their views about the relative, rather than absolute, suitability of mares, geldings and stallions for each equestrian activity.

The frequent nomination of the gelding for trail-riding may reflect an expectation of reliable and predictable horse behavior arising from the relative absence of sex hormones. Additionally, if undertaken in the company of other horses, the perceived reduction of sex-hormone influences over intraspecific behavior during trail-riding could contribute to perceptions of safety for riders.

These same respondents were asked to give short answers to questions surrounding their choice of a mare, gelding or stallion for the disciplines of dressage, show-jumping and trail-riding. The of these qualitative data were the subject of further study [ 40 ]. Dashper et al also reported an overall preference for male horses, with mares selected less than twenty-five percent of the time when asked to choose a horse for a sport or leisure activity. The attribution of gendered characteristics onto horse behavior by female respondents suggests that they may default to attributing undesirable horse behavior to gender, rather than factors such as pain or training confusion.

Further research into the attitudes of male riders towards mares, geldings and stallions could confirm if such views are shared by male riders too. Work in other species has identified gender and sex-based interpretations of behavior by both male and female owners of companion animals such as dogs and cats [ 54 ] and further observational research also could explore whether the gendered understandings are replicated when owners handle and ride horses.

Sex datee barneveld

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