Leisure riding horses: research topics versus the needs of stakeholders
Horses intended for leisure riding do not undergo any selection and most often retired sports horses or defective horses are chosen, as a low selling price determines their purchase by a leisure riding center. Unfortunately, horses bought at low prices usually have low utility value, are difficult to handle, require a special or individual approach and do not provide satisfaction in riding. However, neither modern horse breeding nor scientific research address the need to breed horses for leisure activities. There is no clear definition of a model leisure horse and criteria or information for its selection are not readily available in scientific publications. A wide spectrum of research methods may be used to evaluate various performance traits in horses intended for leisure activities. The fact that the population of recreational horses and their riders outnumber sporting horses should attract the special attention of scientific research. Their utility traits need to be determined with modern technology and methods in the same way they are for sporting horses. Such a system of evaluation would be very helpful for riders.
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