by Stefanie Krysiak, Master of Advanced studies in Sport Administration and Technology.
During the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) Sports Forum on 4 April 2016 an issue was raised by Olympic Champion Steve Guerdat who stated: “People need to learn to follow procedures. Judges need to learn that, but one thing we cannot miss is the horsemanship these people should have. Yes we need rules, the rules are black and white, but we must not forget we have a horse in our sport. A living animal and the officials must understand the importance of horsemanship.”
However, a comprehensive understanding of horsemanship was lacking and resulted in the matter often being mystified. Consequently, a study was initiated by the FEI Education and Standards Department to assist in determining whether the concept of horsemanship could be defined more substantively and to develop a potential baseline understanding of the necessary skills, abilities and attributes for horsemanship competence. An in-depth literature review along with qualitative semi-structured interviews with one hundred and five individuals from six continents, thirty different countries, in eight equestrian disciplines and twenty-one different stakeholder perspectives were conducted to address this subject matter.
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