The impact of rider technique on the welfare of horses


This project will examine best practice in equestrian technique with a focus on dressage training


Professor Paul McGreevy

Research Location

Sydney School of Veterinary Science

Program Type



Humans influence horses, in-hand and under saddle, with stimuli in the form of pressure. Ideally such pressures are minimal but some horses are exposed to confusing and even abusive force. The current project brings together a multidisciplinary group to improve the training of horses. It will involve the development of technologies to measure the interaction between horses and riders. It will advance our understanding of negative reinforcement in general and learning theory in the ridden horse by addressing one of the most fundamental questions in equitation: “What is the optimal level of contact between any given horse and its rider?”

Additional Information

This project will be based in our collaborative laboratory in Victoria. The successful student will have priority access to our lab’s cutting edge equipment but currently no additional funding is in place. Therefore we can accept applications only from student with scholarships. 

HDR Inherent Requirements

In addition to the academic requirements set out in the Science Postgraduate Handbook, you may be required to satisfy a number of inherent requirements to complete this degree. Example of inherent requirement may include:

- Confidential disclosure and registration of a disability that may hinder your performance in your degree;
- Confidential disclosure of a pre-existing or current medical condition that may hinder your performance in your degree (e.g. heart disease, pace-maker, significant immune suppression, diabetes, vertigo, etc.);
- Ability to perform independently and/or with minimal supervision;
- Ability to undertake certain physical tasks (e.g. heavy lifting);
- Ability to undertake observatory, sensory and communication tasks;
- Ability to spend time at remote sites (e.g. One Tree Island, Narrabri and Camden);
- Ability to work in confined spaces or at heights;
- Ability to operate heavy machinery (e.g. farming equipment);
- Hold or acquire an Australian driver’s licence;
- Hold a current scuba diving license;
- Hold a current Working with Children Check;
- Meet initial and ongoing immunisation requirements (e.g. Q-Fever, Vaccinia virus, Hepatitis, etc.)

You must consult with your nominated supervisor regarding any identified inherent requirements before completing your application.

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equine, equestrian, equine dressage

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 1246

Other opportunities with Professor Paul McGreevy