DeAraugo, J., McLean, A., McLaren, S., Casper, G., McLean, M., McGreevy, P. 2014. Training methodologies differ with the attachment of humans to horses. Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 9 (5), 235-241.
Our investigation is the first to use attachment theory to explore four commonplace training methods (Conspecific, Behavioral, Eclectic, and Conventional) and owners’ levels of attachment (anxiety and avoidance) to their horses. An international sample of horse riders and handlers (N = 538), aged 18-80 years, completed demographics and the Experiences in Close Relationships—Relationship Structures Questionnaire. Behavioral training participants scored significantly higher on the attachment-avoidance scores to their horses than the Eclectic or Conspecific training methods. The Behavioral and Eclectic training methods were associated with higher levels of education. Further research is warranted to elucidate the role that training methods play in the relationships between humans and horses.