Upcoming Conference

10th International Equitation Science Conference

ISES Denmark 2014, August 7-9

Conference theme: Equine stress, learning and training


Scientific themes:

  1. Interpretation of equine stress responses
  2. Learning and cognition
  3. Sustainable training and riding

This conference offers an outstanding international platform for scientists and professional practitioners to present and discuss research related to the field of equitation science. The ISES mission is to promote and encourage the application of objective research and advanced practice, which will ultimately improve the welfare of horses in their associations with humans.

For more information about the conference, venue and programme, please visit our website:


On behalf of the organizing team, Dr. Janne Winther Christensen, Aarhus University, and Professor Jan Ladewig, Copenhagen University


Student award for best oral and poster presentation

At each conference, two students will be awarded for their presented work. One prize for best oral presentation and one prize for best poster presentation. More information here ...


Key note speakers (PDF)

Interpretation of equine stress responses

Learning and cognition:                  Andrew McLean, PhD, BSc, Dip Ed. (Australian Equine Behaviour Centre )

Sustainable training and riding:     Arno Lindner (Arbeitsgruppe Pferd, Germany)


An Introduction to Animal Stress: From Selye to Sapolsky.

Mette Herskin is one of the pioneers in the study of behavioural expressions of pain and nociceptive thresholds across animal species. Throughout this plenary you will learn from the original ideas leading to the current notion of animal stress as Herskin presents the ‘fathers’ of stress.

Hormones as indicators of equine stress: Assessment of Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal axis (HPA axis) responses in horses.

Stress responses play an important role in allowing animals to cope with challenges. Dr. Rupert Palme is a world-leading researcher whose main focus has been the metabolism and excretion of glucocorticoids as well as the development and validation of (EIAs) for their quantification. 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 brainimplications for learning and training. 

Sebastian McBride PhD works at the University of Cambridge developing 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. McBride will 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.

In a plenary aimed at bridging the gap between science and practice, ISES Senior Vice President Andrew McLean PhD will dissect the German Training Scale from the various viewpoints of a scientific appraisal of shaping (the scalar approximation of a precise response). Also McLean will 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.

Arno Lindner PhD leads an independent research group devoted to examining how to best diagnose performance and guide the training of sport horses. Linder will raise several points for debate regarding the way sport horses are trained and used today.