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"Before, he fought every day with the horse and with me": reducing violence in a Guatemalan community through a horse-handling program

By J.L. Gibbons, C.A. Cunningham, L. Paiz, K.E. Poelker, M.A. Montufar Cardenas

Category Journal Articles
Abstract

Community and family violence are endemic in Guatemala. We evaluated the effectiveness of a horse-handling program to reduce violent attitudes and aggressive behavior. Eighteen community members who worked with horses in their daily lives (16 men, 2 women, ages 15 to 58) participated in four weekly sessions of embodied experiences with horses. The program taught Monty Roberts' Join-Up, a method of non-violent handling, as well as desensitization of horses to feared objects. Compared to the pretest, on a posttest participants were less likely to endorse violent attitudes with respect to wife-beating, corporal punishment of children, and physical punishment of horses. Their horses also were less reactive to the owner's approach. Female relatives reported that following the program participants provided better care for horses and were calmer and less aggressive with other people. These findings imply that an equine-facilitated program shows promise for transforming communities in which violence is prevalent.

Date 2015
Publication Title Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin
Volume 3
Issue 2
Pages 37-55
URL https://www.apa-hai.org/haib/download-info/horse-handling-program/
Language English
Additional Language English
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Tags
  1. Abnormal behavior
  2. Aggressive behavior
  3. Animal behavior
  4. Animals
  5. Attitudes
  6. Central America
  7. Developing countries
  8. Experience
  9. Guatemala
  10. Horses
  11. Human-animal interactions
  12. Humans
  13. Latin America
  14. Mammals
  15. Men
  16. open access
  17. peer-reviewed
  18. Primates
  19. Relationships
  20. ungulates
  21. United States of America
  22. vertebrates
  23. Violence
Badges
  1. open access
  2. peer-reviewed