Lynda Birke and Jo Hockenhull
In this project, we investigated how horses and handlers moved together. We asked handlers to lead horses on a loose rope, around some simple obstacles, and filmed them together. We compared handlers who were familiar and unfamiliar to the horse to see what differences there might be. We found that the quality of the interaction differed; that is, teams of observers rated horses with familiar handlers as more relaxed, and together, anticipating one another's movement. With a familiar person, horses were less tense, more attentive and less resistant.