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Swedish group to study horse whispering youth

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 21 Sep 2010, 13:53

Published: 21 Sep 2010 13:53 GMT+02:00

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"The purpose of the project is to describe, analyse and to compare how children and youths with different cultural backgrounds communicate with horses," the researchers at Chalmers and Gothenburg universities stated in their application for ethical approval submitted to the Swedish Board of Agriculture (Jordbruksverket).

The project is to be conducted within the framework of operations at the Gothenburg Disabled Riding Club and will analyse the behaviour of the children aged 10-18-years-old and is hoped to contribute to learning about horse-aided therapy.

The researchers plan to film the interaction between the children and the horses, and study cultural aspects of their interaction, such as languages spoken, values with regards to animals. They will then identify issues to address for those conducting therapy on children of varying ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

"The project intends to contribute to knowledge about human-horse interactions within horse-aided therapy and in activities which raise the quality of life of participants, such as recreational riding for people with temporary or permanently reduced functional capacity or participation in society," the researchers stated.

Horses are a common resource used within therapy and the researchers observed that their beneficial effects are well-documented. Research into how the animals are affected in various care situations is not as broad however, and is thus cited as a reason for the study.

Story continues below…

The study will be carried out as a partnership between linguists and language researchers from Gothenburg University and Chalmers, and ethologists from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

Swedish Ethical Committee on Animal Research (Djurförsöksetiska nämnden) has approved the research.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:19 September 21, 2010 by GT
This study is not as important. Stop this study and deviate the sum to this lady (http://www.thelocal.se/29150/20100921/) if Sweden has a human face.

The study is not going to result anything fruitful to life. But deviation of the fun definitely give some solace to the struggling life.

No need to pour in the taxpayers' money (including mine) to something that is not fundamental to life. Human rights comes prior to horse communications.
16:56 September 21, 2010 by Argentina84
I agree with you GT! What kind of a joke is this study?
17:12 September 21, 2010 by zircon
"Can I keep them?" Bart Simpson asked his mum. This was the Peruvian Iguana. More vowels? From the ego or the anima?
21:26 September 21, 2010 by RememberAisha
GT gets my vote as well, this is ridiculous.
23:15 September 21, 2010 by Freyja14
I think this study actually sounds very interesting! You guys are such tight wads....chill out and worry about something that's worth it.....
07:07 September 22, 2010 by Douglas Garner
The study sounds like it will be conducted by university students, so as a teaching tool in research technique and statistical analysis, is certainly has value. If it yeilds additional benefits for children, all the better!
14:30 September 24, 2010 by janifa
Nature has profound lessons for us. In a world where despite our grand achievements in science, technology, space travel, medicine etc. we still have not learned to live respectfully and in harmony with each other, and in relation to our planet. We transgress the most basic laws of humanity everyday, in our arrogant ignorance. We have more wars than ever before, more hunger, growing divided between the rich and the poor. Let us stop a moment, in humility , and listen to the softer more subtle examples of beauty and sanity around us. I applaud a society that honours its vulnerable and most voiceless. We could learn a lot from what it is that happens between a special need child as she interfaces with the 'wild'. i would suggest the research would corroborate the power of trust, fearlessness, deep listening and love in healing ourselves and our relation with the Other. This is our original nature, which we have forgotten.
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