The 5 freedoms give us a framework from which to think about welfare and assess an equines welfare situation and needs. They outline broad categories of welfare and allow us to think about how best we can provide a good welfare environment for the equines under our care.
The equine ethogram is a species-specific list of normal behaviours for the horse. It can help us to understand the equines behavioural needs and to identify behaviours that are not normal.
Normal behaviours for horses include:
Obviously in a domestic environment we cannot provide all aspects of an environment that provides all of the above for the horse all of the time, however it is a good list of things to consider when thinking about how we manage horses and how we interact with them.
Research has shown that equines who have access to their preferred equine companion show more positive reactions to new object being introduced to them so by modifying our environments to best suit equines we can alter their perception of the world to a more positive one.