Hartpury University will host the 18th Conference of the International Society for Equitation Science

Over three days, the event will give delegates a fresh perspective on the current state of Equitation Science with thought-provoking plenaries, workshops, research presentations, keynotes, and research studies.

Here’s a rundown of the key conference themes.

Performance: Dr Andrew Hemmings and Linda Greening will take us on a trip inside the horse’s mind with a head-first approach to equine management and training, while Dr David Marlin and Prof Tim Parkin will explore relationships between equine performance and welfare, by examining how we can define and measure performance, and the role science can play to enhance health and welfare – not just competitive success.

Practice: Dr Marc Pierard will showcase how learning theory can be applied in the ridden horse, while Christopher Bartle FBHS will discuss his personal philosophy for training horse and rider partnerships. Prof Lars Roepstroff and Dr Russell Mackechnie-Guire will consider how rider performance and horse and rider asymmetries can influence training and performance and affect quality of life for the ridden horse.

Positive Partnerships: The horse-human relationship is the foundation of positive partnerships, and the conference will consider this partnership from both the horse and the human perspective. Dr Natalie Waran will explore how this knowledge can underpin and promote ethical equitation practices and positive relationships alongside Dr Hayley Randle and Dr Jane Williams.

Panels: Each day, the conference will feature a live panel, providing an opportunity for contemporary issues to be discussed by keynote speakers. Leading equitation science researchers and industry practitioners will join the lively discussions in which audience participation and interaction are encouraged. Areas planned include equine quality of life, rider responsibility and how we can use science to generate evidence-informed equitation.

Professor Natalie Waran, Chair of Trustees at ISES and Executive Dean and Professor (One Welfare) at the Eastern University of Technology (EIT) New Zealand, said:

“It’s important that we remember that a partnership is a two-way exchange, with both parties enjoying the benefits resulting from the interaction. If we are to be certain that horses can enjoy a positive experience when being handled, trained, ridden, driven and in performance, we need to ensure that we know what is positive from the horse’s perspective, and how we provide for this in practice.

“This year’s ISES conference theme ‘Succeed with Science’ will provide an opportunity for scientists, students, and practitioners to engage with a rich mix of the latest equitation science research and advanced practice, as well as showcase how technology can be harnessed to further our knowledge about how to ensure that the horse-human partnership is mutually rewarding. Due to Covid-19, we have sadly had two thwarted attempts to run this conference at Hartpury University – so it’s extremely heartening that we are able to meet in person on campus where we will get to enjoy the exceptional research, teaching and competition facilities at Hartpury.

“I for one, am looking forward to meeting old friends as well as making new ones, whilst catching up on the latest applied research and thinking to advance the welfare of the horse.”

Rosie Scott-Ward, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Hartpury University, said: “Hartpury University is delighted to welcome the ISES community in August 2022. The role of Equitation Science cannot be underestimated in not only improving horse welfare but in sustaining this wonderful global industry for future generations. I very much hope many of you can join us to consider the next steps and how we can all do better by our horses and ponies.”

The conference will run alongside the NAF Five Star International Hartpury Horse Trials and in-person delegates will receive a free pass to attend the cross country day on Saturday 13 August. It’ll also provide a useful opportunity for Hartpury students to volunteer and attend the conference itself, networking with leading professionals and learning from the latest industry research and thought leadership.

Provisional Timetable

The provisional timetable for ISES 2022: https://equitationscience.com/conferences/