Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Listening to Horses

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

Developing Attentive Interspecies Relationships through Sport and Leisure

image of Society & Animals

The involvement of nonhuman animals in human sport and leisure raises questions about the ethics of animal use (and sometimes abuse) for human pleasure. This article draws on a multispecies ethnography of amateur riding in the United Kingdom to consider some ways in which human participants try to develop attentive relationships with their equine partners. An ethical praxis of paying attention to horses as individual, sentient beings with intrinsic value beyond their relation to human activities can lead to the development of mutually rewarding interspecies relationships and partnerships within sport. However, these relationships always develop within the context of human-centric power relations that position animals as vulnerable subjects, placing moral responsibility on humans to safeguard animal interests in human sport and leisure.

Affiliations: 1: Leeds Beckett University Leeds, West YorkshireUnited Kingdom


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Bekoff M."Why “good welfare” isn’t “good enough”: Minding animals and increasing our compassion footprint" ARBS Annual Review of Biomedical Sciences 2008 Retrieved August 12, 2014, from .
2. Belk R."Metaphoric relationships with pets" Society & Animals 1996Vol 4 2 121 145
3. bhic Size and scope of the equine sector 2009 Retrieved March 11, 2011, from .
4. Birke L., Brandt K."Mutual corporeality: Gender and human/horse relationships" Women’s Studies International Forum 2009Vol 32 189 197
5. Birke L., Bryld M., Lykke N."Animal performances: An exploration of intersections between feminist science studies and studies of human/animal relationships" Feminist Theory 2004Vol 5 2 167 183
6. Birke L., Hockenhull J., Creighton E."The horse’s tale: Narratives of caring for/about horses" Society & Animals 2010Vol 18 331 347
7. Bradshaw G. A."You see me, but do you hear me? The science and sensibility of trans-species dialogue" Feminism and Psychology 2010Vol 20 3 407 419
8. Brandt K."A language of their own: An interactionist approach to human-horse communication" Society & Animals 2004Vol 12 4 299 316
9. Bryant J. O. Olympic equestrian: A century of international horse sport 2008 Lexington, KY Eclipse Press
10. Butler D."Not a job for “girly-girls”: Horseracing, gender, and work identities" Sport in Society 2013Vol 16 10 1309 1325
11. Butler D., Charles N."Exaggerated femininity and tortured masculinity: Embodying gender in the horseracing industry" The Sociological Review 2012Vol 60 676 695
12. Carter B., Charles N."Animals, agency, and resistance" Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 2013Vol 43 3 322 340
13. Cassidy R. The sport of kings: Kinship, class, and Thoroughbred breeding in Newmarket 2002 Cambridge, UK Cambridge University Press
14. Charles N., Davies C. A."My family and other animals: Pets as kin" Sociological Research Online 2008Vol 13 5 Article 4.
15. Cooke S."Duties to companion animals" Res Publica 2011Vol 17 261 274
16. Crosset T., Beal B."The use of “subculture” and “subworld” in ethnographic works on sport: A discussion of definitional distinctions" Sociology of Sport Journal 1997Vol 14 73 85
17. Crossman G., Walsh R."The changing role of the horse: From beast of burden to partner in sport and recreation" The International Journal of Sport and Society 2011Vol 2 2 95 110
18. Dashper K."Tools of the trade or part of the family? Horses in competitive equestrian sport" Society & Animals 2014Vol 22 352 371
19. Dashper K."Strong, active women: (Re)doing rural femininity through equestrian sport and leisure" Ethnography 2015
20. Donovan J."Feminism and the treatment of animals: From care to dialogue" Signs 2006Vol 31 2 305 329
21. Endenburg N."Perceptions and attitudes toward horses in European societies" Equine Veterinary Journal 1999Vol 31 S28 38 41
22. Eitzen D. S. Fair and foul: Beyond the myths and paradoxes of sport 2012 Plymouth, UK Rowman and Littlefield Publishers
23. Fennell D., Sheppard V. A."Another legacy for Canada’s 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games: Applying an ethical lens to the post-games’ sled dog cull" Journal of Ecotourism 2011Vol 10 3 197 213
24. Fox R."Animal behaviours, post-human lives: Everyday negotiations of the animal-human divide in pet-keeping" Social and Cultural Geography 2006Vol 7 4 525 537
25. Game A."Riding: Embodying the centaur" Body and Society 2001Vol 7 4 1 12
26. Garratt D., Piper H., Taylor B."“Safeguarding” sports coaching: Foucault, genealogy, and critique" Sport, Education and Society 2013Vol 18 5 615 629
27. Gilbert M., Gillett J."Equine athletes and interspecies sport" International Review for the Sociology of Sport 2011Vol 47 5 632 643
28. Gore R."Horsemanship" 2004 Retrieved August 13, 2014, from
29. Haraway D. The companion species manifesto: Dogs, people, and significant otherness 2003 Chicago, IL Prickly Paradigm Press
30. Irvine L."Pampered or enslaved? The moral dilemmas of pets" International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy 2004Vol 24 9 5 17
31. Jonsson K."Humans, horses, and hybrids: On rights, welfare, and masculinity in equestrian sports" Scandinavian Sport Studies Forum 2012Vol 3 49 69
32. Keaveney S. M."Equines and their human companions" Journal of Business Research 2008Vol 61 444 454
33. Kelly L."“Social inclusion” through sports-based interventions?" Critical Social Policy 2011Vol 31 1 126 150
34. Kirksey S. E., Helmreigh S."The emergence of multispecies ethnography" Cultural Anthropology 2010Vol 25 4 545 576
35. Kuhl G."Human–sled dog relations: What can we learn from the stories and experiences of mushers?" Society & Animals 2011Vol 19 22 37
36. Maurstad A., Davis D., Cowles S."Co-being and intra-action in horse-human relationships: A multi-species ethnography of be(coming) human and be(coming) horse" Social Anthropology 2013Vol 21 3 322 335
37. Morgan W. J. Why sports morally matter 2006 New York, NY Routledge
38. Oma K. A."Between trust and domination: Social contracts between humans and animals" World Archaeology 2010Vol 42 2 175 187
39. Pearson C."Dogs, history, and agency" History and Theory 2013Vol 52 128 145
40. Rossdale P. D."The role of the horse" Equine Veterinary Journal 1999Vol 31 S28 4
41. Sanders C. R."The animal “other”: Self-definition, social identity, and companion animals" Advances in Consumer Research 1990Vol 17 662 668
42. Shapiro P."Moral agency in other animals" Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 2006Vol 27 357 373
43. Shaw D. G."The torturer’s horse: Agency and animals in history" History and Theory 2013Vol 52 146 167
44. Stibbe A."Language, power, and the social construction of animals" Society & Animals 2001Vol 9 2 145 161
45. Warkentin T."Interspecies etiquette: An ethics of paying attention to animals" Ethics and the Environment 2010Vol 15 1 101 121
46. Warkentin T."Interspecies etiquette in place: Ethical affordances in swim-with-dolphins programs" Ethics and the Environment 2011Vol 16 1 99 122
47. Wilsher S., Allen W. R., Wood J. L. N."Factors associated with failure of Thoroughbred horses to train and race" Equine Veterinary Journal 2006Vol 38 2 113 118
48. Wipper A."The partnership: The horse-rider relationship in eventing" Symbolic Interaction 2000Vol 23 1 47 70

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Society & Animals — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation