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Title: A critical investigation into human-equine interaction and associated experiences as a leisure and tourist activity in the North East of England
Author: Danby, Paula
Awarding Body: University of Sunderland
Current Institution: University of Sunderland
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis investigates the motivational factors and the types of human-equine interactions and associated experiences which are encountered as a leisure and tourist activity. Despite the growing interest in human-animal relations very few accounts have actually explored horses especially within the realm of leisure and tourism. This research contextualizes the relations between humans and horses as well as the experiences encountered through such interactions and coexistence as a result of leisure and tourism engagement. My elaboration with this theme engages in a variety of theories and debates surrounding human-animal geographies. The findings of this research can be viewed through a post humanist lens revealing the hybrid geographies associated with human-equine relations. This study recognizes the existence of intimate relations between humans and horses where human-equine relations have changed in the post modem western world as a result of political, economic, environmental and societal changes. There is an increasing demand for humans and horse to interact as a result of leisure and tourism processes where humans and horses have become mutually dependent upon one another both physically and emotionally. Horses are considered valuable companions and are associated as family members despite living outdoors and their unique cultural differences. A comprehensive literature review of human-animal research is presented which outlines the historical context of human-animal relations and how these have changed over time. Drawing upon ethnographic accounts of humans-equine interactions, participant observations and interviews were held with eleven horse owners, five non-horse owners and five instructors (four of which owned horses) giving a total of twenty one participants. Topics discussed within the interviews were themed around human-equine motivations, experiences, interactions, relationships and the benefits associated with human-equine interactions. Furthermore, participant diaries were recorded by myself as well as fifteen other participants over an eight lesson/week period and themes associated with the diaries related to human-equine experiences, emotions, interactions as well as skills developed through riding. The sample were taken from participants who engaged in riding lessons or were livery customers of a riding school based within County Durham as well as with private horse owners or riders within the wider North East of England region. Findings revealed that humans and horses play influential roles in each others lives as a result of leisure and tourism activities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available