Human-horse interactions have a rich tradition and can be highly rewarding, particularly within sport and recreation pursuits, but they can also be dangerous or even life-threatening. In parallel, sport and recreation pursuits involving animals, including horses, are facing an increased level of public scrutiny in relation to the use of animals for these purposes. However, the challenge lies with event organisers to reconcile the expectations of the public, the need to meet legal requirements to reduce or eliminate risks to paid and volunteer workers, and address horse welfare. In this article we explore incident management at horse events as an example of a situation where volunteers and horses can be placed at risk during a rescue. We introduce large animal rescue skills as a solution to improving worker safety and improving horse welfare outcomes. Whilst there are government and horse industry initiatives to improve safety and address animal welfare, there remains a pressing need to invest in a strong communication plan which will improve the safety of workplaces in which humans and horses interact.
Fiedler, J.M.; McGreevy, P.D. Reconciling Horse Welfare, Worker Safety, and Public Expectations: Horse Event Incident Management Systems in Australia. Animals 2016, 6, 16. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani6030016