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Type: Thesis
Title: Achieving ‘partnership’: The relationship between horse and rider in the competition arena
Author: Sandland, Jacqueline
Issue Date: 2016
School/Discipline: School of Psychology
Abstract: This study aims to explore the horse-rider relationship in elite-level eventing. Current literature suggests that the concept, ‘partnership’, is routinely used to describe a fundamental aspect of rider-horse compatibility, and that this concept is argued to need time to develop. Highly skilled riders who use multiple horses in competition may not have time to develop such ‘partnerships’, however, such combinations are often found to achieve significant competitive success. Fifteen semi-structured interviews were conducted to explore how elite-level eventing riders account for equestrian performance and how ‘partnership’ between horse and rider is routinely described in discussing achievement at this level. Discursive analysis was used to identify broad patterns in the data, as well as identifying routine linguistic practices and rhetorical organisation that recur in elite riders’ constructions of event horses. Event horses were routinely described in two ways: as autonomous, decision-making agent, and as social being, that displays specific dispositional attributes that contribute toward performance success. These constructions were applied to an ‘equine habitus’ framework (Gilbert & Gillett, 2011), to develop the notion of an ‘eventing habitus’. The study’s findings have practical application for riders and trainers in competitive environments as well as for other equestrian professionals (e.g. jockeys and stockmen) who are routinely required to ride unfamiliar horses in high-risk contexts.
Dissertation Note: Thesis (B.Sc.(Hons)) -- University of Adelaide, School of Psychology, 2016
Keywords: Honours; Psychology
Description: This item is only available electronically.
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