Horse care practices and equestrian pedagogy are being reconfigured within a contemporary ‘revolution’ in British horsemanship. This is both instigated by, and instigates, horse owners’ attitudes of responsible doubt and self-critique. At the same time, embodied conviction is honed, because the rider’s mindful body is foregrounded as an integral part of the communication channel between horse and human. In this article, responsible doubt and embodied conviction are shown to emerge from, and contribute to, different ways in which horse riders can cut the network in their endeavours to achieve ‘true partnership’ with their horses.
Rosie Jones McVey is a PhD student in the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge. She is author of Globetrotting: A Travelogue Exploring Horsemanship in Far-Flung Places (J. A. Allen, 2015) and collaborating author on ‘Monty Roberts’ Public Demonstrations: Preliminary Report on the Heart Rate and Heart Rate Variability of Horses Undergoing Training during Live Audience Events’ with Loni Loftus, Kelly Marks, Jose Gonzales and Veronica Fowler (Animals 6 (9), 2016).