The US-based nonprofit Train With Trust Project has released The Field Guide to the 24 Behaviors, a practical tool to complement the widely popular documentary The 24 Behaviors of the Ridden Horse in Pain: Shifting the Paradigm of How We See Lameness. The film, which was produced by Padma Video in partnership with the Train with Trust Project and world-renowned expert in equine orthopedics Dr. Sue Dyson, is based on Dr. Dyson’s groundbreaking research on signs of pain in ridden horses. It has been viewed more than 270,000 times on YouTube since its release in late 2022.
The Field Guide to the 24 Behaviors is an illustrated and annotated catalog of the Ridden Horse Pain Ethogram (RHpE), which was developed by Dr. Dyson and her colleagues through a six-phase study, spanning three years, and over 400 horses. Scientific studies have demonstrated that a score of 8 or more behaviors on the RHpE is reliably associated with pain in the ridden horse, and can predict lameness before the condition worsens into more obvious signs of unsoundness. The majority of these behaviors are at least ten times more likely to be seen in lame horses compared with non-lame horses.
The Field Guide to the 24 Behaviors has been created by the Train with Trust Project as a free downloadable PDF for easy sharing and mobile use. A full-color poster edition depicting the same beautiful illustrations of the 24 Behaviors by artist Melissa Cho (suitable for display in barns, veterinary hospitals, etc.) is also available worldwide in two sizes for online purchase. 100% of the proceeds from poster sales will be out towards future endeavors of the Train with Trust Project, which provides accessible equine welfare and behavior education.
“The film takes the science behind Dr. Dyson’s research and makes it relatable,” said Megan Phillips, President of the Train with Trust Project. “The Field Guide to the 24 Behaviors will help anyone who feels moved and inspired by the message of the film to take the same tool used by Dr. Dyson, the Ridden Horse Pain Ethogram, and put it to practical use in identifying and addressing signs of pain in their own horses.”
As Dr. Dyson suggests in the film, horse owners are often the first to recognize early signs of trouble in their own horse, before they may be obvious to a trainer or veterinarian. Access to The Field Guide to the 24 Behaviors provides the vocabulary people need to describe the changes in behavior they’re noticing when working with a team of professionals who can help them find answers. Likewise, the Field Guide can also help trainers and veterinarians communicate to their clients about subtle issues that may be more apparent to their trained eye.
“In recent years, the horse industry has noticeably been shifting away from the traditional ‘ride through it’ approach that normalizes behavior associated with poor performance. Riders, with the support of many veterinarians, trainers, and even judges, have become increasingly concerned about our social license to operate, and the responsibility we have as custodians to protect the welfare of horses,” said Jody Ambrose, former Grand Prix dressage competitor and co-founder of the Train With Trust Project. “Once people know it’s possible to systematically identify pain-related behaviors in a horse that isn’t showing obvious lameness, they want to learn how. Providing this information as an accessible, shareable tool empowers amateurs and professionals alike to benefit the horses in their care.”
To download The Field Guide to the 24 Behaviors for free, or to purchase posters, go to TrainwithTrustProject.org or 24HorseBehaviors.org
The film The 24 Behaviors of the Ridden Horse in Pain: Shifting the Paradigm of How We See Lameness is streaming for free at https://youtu.be/hrZgtrqbMVI and on major Smart TV platforms including Amazon Fire, AppleTV, Roku and Samsung LG via the EQUUS Television Network
To learn more about the nonprofit Train with Trust Project or to support their work by making a tax-deductible donation, go to TrainWithTrustProject.org
Notes to editors
Interviews can be arranged with Dr. Sue Dyson, Jody Ambrose, and Megan Phillips on request
Images available upon request
About The Train with Trust Project: The Train with Trust Project is a nonprofit organization making behavior education more accessible and promoting the use of evidence-based training and best management practices. Their purpose is helping people build trust-based relationships with animals in order to strengthen the human-animal bond. TrainWithTrustProject.org
About Sue Dyson: Dr. Sue Dyson specializes in equine orthopedics, with a focus on lameness and poor performance in sports horses. She lectures internationally and is known both for her clinical work and extensive research, having published over 370 peer-reviewed papers on lameness and diagnostic imaging in scientific journals. She has co-authored several veterinary textbooks, as well as trained and competed at the national level in both eventing and show jumping. 24horsebehaviors.org
About Padma Video: Padma Video creates educational, marketing and documentary films specializing in the human-animal bond. Padma Video seeks to illuminate the strong, beautiful and complicated relationship between humans and animals. We humbly serve with an open mind; asking the question during all phases of video production… how can we make the world better for them? PadmaVideo.com
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