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10 yearssex

We propose horses the anthropomorphic application of gender stereotypes to animals influences human-animal interactions and human expectations, often hrses negative consequences for female animals. The questionnaire asked respondents to allocate three hypothetical horses a mare, gelding and stallion to four horses 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.

Participants were also asked which sex mares, geldings or stallions were most suitable for the three equestrian sex 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 assigned 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 results 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.

Horses could have far-reaching implications uorses equine training and welfare. Humans, horses and temperament. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licensewhich 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 hkrses.

Historically, horses have been used horses 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 ].

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 horses specific characteristics and temperament attributes [ dex ]. 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 ].

Horsee et al. Sex differences in learning and behavior have been reported in young horses but learning tasks and therefore results vary. Yearling fillies appeared to learn at an accelerated rate during early training compared to male horses during two learning tests [ horsss ]. 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 horses example [ 2631 — 33 ].

While convention dictates that younger riders should be mounted on more experienced horsrs, 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 ssx ridden by male or female riders, suggesting perhaps that the gender of the rider may not matter to the horse. Previous 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. Hores following four riders arrive for a trail ride without a booking. There are only three sex 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 emailed to request the participation of members. The survey was also spread through social media channels horses.

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 account for multiple observations per participant.

Similar to above, the de-identified participant codes were included as a random effect to account 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 hoses 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 assign a gelding, stallion or mare to horsrs man, woman, boy or girl, leaving one rider with no sex assigned.

More than half of the respondents allocated the gelding to the girl. The girl had 2. The decision was sex 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 horsew was not sex 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 horses a significant influence on responses when participants allocated the mare. 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 assign one adjective of a dichotomour pair as an indicative attribute of gelding, stallion and mare.

The results are presented in Fig 4. The respondents considered stallions to be Trainable with Good attitudes but, at the same ses, Bossy and Difficult. Mares scored highly as Safe and Trainablebut respondents were less hhorses about assigning them attributes such as Easy-goingPredictable or Reliable.

Stallions received the least positive attributes. Respondents were then asked sex 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 Hogses 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 horsrs significantly 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: norses.

Our results 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 sex as being suitable for any of the riders.

It is worth noting that several respondents objected to being forced to decide based on the ses information provided. Predictably, the stallion was almost always allocated to an adult, and preferentially, the man.

The gelding was most often allocated to a child, with the girl being assigned the gelding more often than the boy and the mare more likely to be assigned to the woman or the girl. The most unexpected finding in this sex of sex 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 hrses may reflect the dominance of women in horse-riding, its identification with women and the ways in which hosres privilege the transfer of horse-riding skills from one generation of women to the next.

It may zex result from anecdotal beliefs that females are better equipped to handle horses and particularly female horses, sex account 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 horses males have less impulse control horses 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 horzes stallions. The results for geldings were clear and they were positively classified in each of the nine categories by almost all respondents.

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

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 hirses, including between geldings and stallions or mares and stallions, the reason respondents assigned the term Bossy to mares and stallions but not geldings appears to reside in beliefs and is yet to be explored experimentally.

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