Ethical Principles of Horsemanship

from the German National Equestrian Federation

  • Anyone involved with a horse assumes responsibility for the creature entrusted to him.
  • The horse must be kept in a way that meets his natural living requirements.
  • A horse’s physical and mental well-being must be one’s first priority.
  • Man must respect every horse alike, regardless of its breed, age, sex, and its use for breeding, recreation, or competition.
  • Knowledge of the history of the horse, his needs, and how to handle him is part of our historic-cultural heritage. This information must be preserved, explained, and passed on to future generations.
  • Being around horses is a character-building experience and of valuable significance to the development of the human being, especially young people. This aspect must always be respected and promoted.
  • The human being who participates in equestrian sport with his horse must undergo training, and must also provide training for the horse entrusted to him. The goal of any training is to bring about the best possible harmony between human being and the horse.
  • The use of the horse in competition as well as in general riding, driving, and vaulting must be geared towards the horse’s ability, temperament, and willingness to perform. Manipulating a horse’s capacity to perform by means of medication or other “horse-unfriendly” influences is to be rejected by all, and people engaged in such practices should be prosecuted.
  • The responsibility a human has for the horse entrusted to him extends to the end of the horse’s life. The human must always assume this responsibility and implement any decisions with the horse’s well-being in mind.