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Compatibility of riders' personality traits and the perceived personality of their horse

By Bente Træen, Espen Røysamb

Category Journal Articles
Abstract

This study addresses the relationship between competition riders’ personality traits and the perception of their horse’s personality, and it assesses whether a match in personality is associated with aspects of the riders’ self-esteem, general self-efficacy, satisfaction with life, anxiety and depression. An invitation to participate in the study and a link to an online questionnaire were distributed via e-mail to members of the Norwegian Equestrian Federation (NEF). In total, 662 riders (95.5% female) accessed the survey site and completed the questionnaire. Most riders perceived of themselves as planned and systematic, extraverted and sociable, open to new experiences and non-neurotic. They tended to perceive of their favourite horse in a similar manner. Based on the riders’ perceptions, three dimensions of personality in the horses were identified: ‘neuroticism’, ‘agreeableness’ and ‘extraversion’. To study the match and discrepancy in human and horse personality, new variables were constructed to measure the differences between human personality and horse personality. Positive self-esteem and higher subjective well-being in the rider correlated with a match in both agreeableness and extraversion. On the other hand, riders who had a discrepancy with their horse in agreeableness and extraversion reported more depression. Riders who experienced a match in extraversion with their horse had higher self-efficacy. Lastly, riders who had a discrepancy with their horse in neuroticism and extraversion reported more anxiety.

Submitter

Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Date 2021
Publication Title Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin
Volume 9
Issue 2
Pages 46-61
URL https://www.human-animal-interaction.org/haib/download-info/compatibility-of-riders-personality-traits-and-the-perceived-personality-of-their-horse/
Language English
Additional Language English
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Tags
  1. Animal roles
  2. Competition
  3. Horses
  4. Human-animal interactions
  5. Mammals
  6. open access
  7. Personality
Badges
  1. open access