The story of a horse who would not be caught for weeks – and later bolted into a fence – who is now successfully competing shines a spotlight on both equine and human behaviour change.
Hannah Bryant with her Welsh cob Gavin are at the National Equine Forum today (2/3/2011), alongside Gemma Pearson, Horse Trust director of horse behaviour, and Tamzin Furtado a social scientist.
The aim was to use Hannah and Gav’s story to explore the science behind the way people and horses learn, what makes horses behave as they do, and how to tackle unwanted behaviour.
Hannah told H&H Six years ago, she purchased Gav when he was five years old. To keep him in temporary isolation, she built a paddock at her horse stable.
“On the first night, he got through the electric fencing and in with horses who weren’t in isolation,” she said. “We then realised he had a very strong fear response to people, and it became a massive problem. We couldn’t get within 25m of him.”
After four weeks, Hannah’s vet recommended Dr Pearson.
Dr. Pearson spoke. H&H that Hannah “must have been under a phenomenal amount of pressure”.
She also said that Hannah had gotten close enough to Gav so that he could eat a bit of the feed before he ran.