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"Did you know...."

April/May 2010 edition


"Did you know...."

Click here for 2010 Archives





USHJA expects that every person involved in showing horses adheres to the USHJA Code of Conduct for the welfare of the horse:


Horses are one of only a few animals used as athletes, often required to undergo extensive training before reaching their physiological or psychological limits as competitive individuals. Under these circumstances, decisions about horse welfare may be strongly influenced by the potential benefits to the rider, the owner or trainer. Therefore, all equestrians must acknowledge and accept that at all times the welfare of the horse is the first priority and must never be second to competitive, personal, or commercial influences.


The well-being of the horse takes precedence over the demands of trainers, riders, owners, organizers, sponsors or officials.


Competition management must always consider the horses’ welfare relative to the competition and schooling areas, ground surfaces, weather conditions, stabling, equipment and other related site safety issues.


Adequate provisions must be made for ventilation, feeding, watering, and maintaining a healthy environment when horses are stabled on competition grounds.


In the interest of the horse, the competence of the rider is considered essential.


The highest level of veterinary care available must be provided at all levels of competition.


USHJA will establish adequate controls in order that all persons and bodies respect the welfare of the horse.


Emphasis will be placed in increasing education in training and equestrian practices and promoting scientific studies in equine health.


USHJA urges its members to pursue the highest level of horsemanship by continued education through clinics at all levels. The USHJA Horse Welfare Committee is dedicated to bringing the best horsemanship ideas together, throughout the United States, in an effort to promote understanding and fair treatment of horses at every opportunity.


Open Letter to Trainers on Horse Welfare (by the USHJA Horse Welfare Committee)


USHJA would like to take this opportunity to ask each of you to help us spread the message of horse welfare. Horse welfare is a topic that must be of utmost importance to everyone involved in the horse industry. From caring for our equine partners at home to competing at horse shows, we ask that as trainers you help us set the gold standard of horse welfare.


Trainers play a vital role in the care and maintenance of our horses. As such riders, owners and spectators look t the trainers to learn what is acceptable. We ask that all trainers help our industry by promoting solid practices of horse welfare. Some examples of what riders, owners and spectators are exposed to are longeing, bathing and general care of the animal. By communicating the proper methods of simple everyday activities such as longeing and bathing (e.g., not continuing to lounge until a horse is lathered; avoiding spraying the horse in the face with the hose), you can help spread the message of proper horsemanship and thereby promote the idea of horse welfare.


It is the responsibility of every trainer to set an example for those looking for guidance. As trainers, you are the mentors of this industry. Together we must protect the horses; as horsemen, it is our job.


Reproduced with permission from USHJA Resource Guide


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