Utrustning inom svensk travsport : Hur utrustning tillämpas bland svenska travtränare och påverkar hästen i ett djurskydds-, och välfärdsperspektiv

University essay from SLU/Dept. of Animal Environment and Health

Abstract: The trotting in Sweden has a good reputation in an international view, both in the perspective of success and how the sport is managed with focus on security, animal protection and animal welfare. A large number of equipment details are fitted on the horses during training and competition. The Swedish law of prevention of cruelty to animals regulate training and competition with racehorses, and propose to protect horses from unnecessary suffering. The equipment permitted in races is regulated in Tävlingsreglementet (The Regulation of Competititon) and in the regulations of equipment, that the Nordic Regulation Committee and Nordic Animal Welfare Committee have worked out. Due to training and competition the equipment must even meet the Swedish law of prevention of cruelty to animals. However, the behaviour or the senses of the horses is often affected by the equipment due to the way the equipment corrects, modifies, restrains or reduces the behaviour of the horse, which may cause the horse stress or discomfort. The purpose with the equipment is to help the horse and to prevent accidents and injuries. Hence equipment may both benefit and reduce animal welfare. The aim of this work is to investigate how and why equipment is used by the Swedish trotter trainers. The answers given by the trainers were compared with the literature to give suggestions to alterantions and improvements of equipment use and regulations in the Swedish trotting. Trotter trainers were interviewed about how and why they use equipment fitted to the horse. The answers show some variations in when and why equipment is used. All of the interviewed trainers stated that they were satisfied with the, of today, regulations about equipment, but some of the trainers pointed out that they want to entering some alterations in the Tävlingsreglementet (The regulation of competition), and in the approval of some equipments. The literature review study showed importance of learning occouring correctly, and that ethology, senses and individual differences is taken in account. Conclusions from this work are that equipment may be a welfare concern due in the way it affects the horse behaviour and senses, and that there are equipments that may not fulfil the Swedish law of prevention of cruelty to animals. Reinforced by the result from this work, it is important to do further research in this field.

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