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Play your part: how to help keep competition horses happy *H&H Plus*

How can we ensure competition horses enjoy their side of the partnership, asks Professor Madeleine Campbell MRCVS

Famous examples of horse-human partnerships have filled the pages of Horse & Hound this year. All of us involved in the equestrian world feel an intuitive “bond” between ourselves and our horses, which is very difficult to define but undoubtedly special. The reality is that however strongly we feel that bond, the partnership between a horse and a human is always, unavoidably, an unequal one.

Domesticated horses are dependent upon humans: both in a legal sense, because they are our property, and in an everyday sense in that they rely upon us for food, shelter, exercise and health care. We have it within our power to make horses’ lives miserable or enjoyable, and that power brings with it an enormous responsibility – a responsibility not only to treat horses as well as possible, but also to strive to understand better what horses need, in order to improve our treatment of them.

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