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Olympic Horses and Working Horses. Worlds apart?

Elite Equestrian sport provides us with an arena to challenge the boundaries of the human/ equine partnership It is an expression of our humanity that we come to celebrate all that we can achieve together. But in the arena of life human/equine partnerships face challenges every bit as complex and vital and the way we come together to meet these challenges speaks just as eloquently of our collective humanity.

There are 100 million working horses in the world and majority of them are owned by the people who face the greatest pressures in this global economy we all share .The people within those communities are amongst the most economically poor, resource poor, environment poor and education poor people in the world. The horses that share their lives , share their working lives are subject to the same pressures and their welfare suffers as a result.

Using Participatory Learning and Action we can help address these welfare issues through education and empowerment. Finding welfare solutions that are relevant and durable. Relevant because they are born out of the specific needs of those communities and durable because they are sustained by the very people we are looking to help.


"There are 100 million working horses in the world and majority of them are owned by the people who face the greatest pressures in this global economy we all share ."

During my time spent working in project communities I have come to realise that these horses are not worlds apart but are in fact connected by a common humanity. It is the relationships we build within these communities that reveal this humanity and reveal the opportunities to meet these challenges.


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Dean Bland  BA Hons, Dip WCF Hons, Dip.Ed, MAFA 

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All Images © 2021 Well Equine Ltd used with the kind permission of  World Horse Welfare, World Horse Welfare Projects Central America and South Africa,  Imprint  Shoes, Redwings, British Equestrian Federation