Date of Award:
Master of Science (MS)
Applied Sciences, Technology, and Education
Michael L. Pate
Michael L. Pate
The equine-assisted services program at Utah State University produced and validated an assessment process used to test equines for suitability for equine-assisted services. Equine-assisted services incorporate the interaction of humans who face mental, physical, emotional, and/or social challenges and equines for therapeutic purposes. Recreational, physical, mental, social, and/or emotional goals are met through various equine-assisted services such as therapies, equine-assisted learning, and horsemanship.
Due to the potential for human injury while interacting with equines, it is important to ensure equines are assessed for safe behavior prior to participation in equine-assisted services. This is why our group developed and tested the Basic Ground Skills Assessment. It was found to be valid and moderately reliable. Use of this assessment in the industry may increase the safety of humans by ensuring only suitable equines are engaged in equine-assisted services.
Additionally, a survey was distributed to Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International centers to better understand the equine evaluation procedures currently in practice. The survey’s results indicated that centers may benefit from a validated assessment process, as we have developed, as there was not a common assessment process currently in place.
Andersen, Sarah J., "Development and Validation of a Basic Ground Skills Assessment for Equine-Assisted Services" (2021). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 8246.
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