Keynote Speakers for 2014 ISES Conference Announced

The program for the 10th International Equitation Science (ISES) Conference, taking place Aug. 7-9 near Vejle, Denmark, includes presentations encompassing many aspects of equestrianism, from horse husbandry and care to high-level performance.

The conference will include several plenary sessions featuring reknowned keynote speakers. Presentation topics and speakers are scheduled to include:

An Introduction to Animal Stress: From Selye to Sapolsky—Presented by Mette Herskin, PhD
Herskin is a pioneer in the study of behavioral expressions of pain and nociceptive thresholds across animal species. Attendees will learn from the original ideas leading to the current notion of animal stress.

Hormones as indicators of equine stress: Assessment of Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal axis (HPA axis) responses in horses—Presented by Rupert Palme, PhD
Stress responses play an important role in allowing animals to cope with challenges. Palme is a researcher whose main focus has been the metabolism and excretion of glucocorticoids. In his plenary Palme will explain the proper application of available, non-invasive techniques to monitor equine stress hormones in horses.

Stress, dopamine, and the horse brain: Implications for learning and training—Presented by Sebastian McBride, PhD
McBride develops cognitive tests as markers for normal and abnormal brain function in large animals. In his plenary McBride will explain how a horse’s learning characteristics are affected by changes in dopamine levels in the brain. He will also discuss the implications of these changes from a training perspective and how dopaminergic tone and basal ganglia functionality can potentially be managed in the horse.

Objectivity in dressage judging: New horizons that arise from learning theory—Presented by Andrew McLean, PhD, BSc, Dip Ed
In a plenary aimed at bridging the gap between science and practice, ISES Senior Vice President McLean will dissect the German training scale from the various viewpoints of a scientific appraisal of shaping (the scalar approximation of a precise response). He will also introduce an alternative judging scale that arises from a more empirical approach to an analysis of trained responses that can be employed in basic form in all equestrian sports.

Sustainable training and riding: Preparing horses for sportive activities—Presented by Arno Linder, PhD
Lindner leads an independent research group devoted to examining how to best diagnose performance and guide the training of sport horses. He will raise several points for debate regarding the way sport horses are trained and used today.

Find out more and register to attend at

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