Attitudes towards horses and their treatment have changed dramatically in the last 20-30 years. In almost every sphere of equine use people are re-examining and re-evaluating their relationships with horses and the natural world at large. This process has, in turn, stimulated a growing scientific and scholarly interest in the new field of Anthrohippology: the study of the interaction between humans and horses.
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What is InCAh?
The International Center for Anthrohippology (InCAh) was formed in 2008 as a supportive organization for the scientific and scholarly study of human-horse interactions. InCAh aims to pull together a multi-disciplinary membership of students, scholars, researchers, and horse professionals who value the bases and potential of the human/horse relationship, with the goal of uniting currently diverse non-medical Equine Studies under one specialization.
What is Anthrohippology?
Anthrohippology is a new sub-specialization of Anthrozoology (the study of human/animal interactions) and encompasses many fields of research; it crosses scientific boundaries and draws from a broad range of disciplines. InCAh Director, Sara Berry, developed the term "Anthrohippology" as a working combination of the Greek "anthropos," meaning human, and "hippology" or study of the horse ("hippos" is Greek for horse, "logos" for study or logic, especially in writing). Broadly, we can say that whenever we study, write, or talk about areas of “connection” between horses and humans, we are engaging in Anthrohippology.
Psychologists, psychiatrists, political scientists, social
scientists, cardiologists, medical scientists, allied health scientists,
behavioral scientists and veterinarians have all contributed to the
body of literature that exists in the mother-specialty, Anthrozoology. InCAh aims to unite non-veterinary, human/equine studies under the term, Anthrohippology.
Examples of anthrohippology research include:
- Horse ownership and human health-related physical activity
- investigating the link between horses, physical health and psychological health
- the use of horses in therapy for human illness (Equine-Assisted Therapy)
- the use of horses in Equine-Assisted Learning (EAL) or Equine Experiential Learning (EEL) environments
- the place of adjunct or alternative therapies in human/equine interactions
- the concept of "attachment"
- horses and childhood immune function
- the effects of Equine Massage on horse health and disposition
- identifying the link between horse ownership and reduction of cardiovascular risk factors
- cruelty to horses and the link to domestic violence
- horses as social facilitators