The use of horses in a therapeutic capacity is well established, but how can interested parties tap into the latest research about horse-human interaction? Publisher Fran Jurga seeks to fill this void with the Equine Assisted Services Research Report (EASR), which she unveiled last fall at the 2023 Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina.
According to a recent press release, EASR aims to make new science easier to manage for busy EAS professionals, degree candidates, educators, medical authorities and funding agencies, as well as motivated clients and their families.
The call for EAS research
The new, quarterly digital publication compiles details on and links to 50 topics of peer-reviewed equine studies under the “EAS” banner, including both animal and human aspects.
“Equine-assisted services research incorporates equine and veterinary science to serve the horse as a key participant, as well as diverse human topics like medical practice, social work, kinematics, occupational therapy, experiential learning, psychotherapy and beyond,” Jurga said.
“Peer-reviewed journals are publishing equine assisted articles delving into therapeutic/adaptive riding, equine-assisted psychotherapy, hippotherapy, equine-assisted learning, human-horse interaction and veterinary social work,” she continued. “Two recently launched equine veterinary journals are specifically calling for EAS research.”
PATH Intl. will work with EASR on member-based sales and marketing support for the new project.
A digital scouting report
EASR serves subscribers easily browsable descriptions and live links to follow for downloading or saving important new research and theses. About 70 percent of entries are open access, free for all to read and add to their personal libraries. A clickable sidebar index makes it easy for users to skip around among 50 topics.
Sub-sections of the report link readers to new research on the health, behavior and well-being of EAS horses, along with para equestrian sport, robotic technologies, riding simulation systems, tack innovations, veterinary social work, and the biomechanics of both horses and humans during riding.
In addition to these article descriptions and links, EASR connects subscribers to new graduate and doctoral theses, clinical trials announcements, abstract submission details for conferences, journal calls for articles, new reference books and preprints.
Growth by the numbers
According to the American Horse Council, equine-assisted services is one of the fastest growing sectors of the horse industry in the United States. The second quarter of 2023 EAS Research Report contained 99 linked studies published earlier this year in 47 peer-reviewed journals, with authors from 24 nations representing 55 universities, as well as from the field by independent professionals. Projections indicate that 2023 will far surpass previous years in both volume and quality of content.
The new report follows in some well-formed hoofprints. Hoofcare Publishing also owns the award-winning HoofSearch, a monthly selective dissemination tool compiling details of hard-to-find peer-reviewed equine hoof science and all aspects of lameness and biomechanics in horses.
“EAS research deserves a one-stop showcase publication that doubles as a road map to where the sector is headed—and now it has one,” Jurga said. “You know you’re on the right track when researchers check to make sure you’ll be listing their new papers. For the authors, EASR’s links bring more eyes and clicks to journal pages, more social media shares, and, most importantly, a wider understanding of what EAS is achieving and why it should be supported. Who wouldn’t want to be part of this?”
For more information, visit the EASR website.
Landing page image from Getty images/Gerardo Huitron