Welcome to The Equine Ethologist!

My name is Renate Larssen and I am the person behind this publication. Ethology is the scientific study of animal behaviour, and at the core of this project is my conviction that the horse world needs more science. A thorough understanding of how horses think, feel, and perceive the world is vital if we want to build mutually beneficial relationships with them.

Unfortunately, science can sometimes seem distant and difficult. My goal with The Equine Ethologist is to bridge the gap between theory and practice by making current research accessible for owners, keepers, and trainers everywhere.

This is a developing project, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any feedback or ideas - I would love to know what you think! You can e-mail me on theequineethologist@substack.com or send me a message on Instagram or Facebook.

(Please note that any and all opinions I express in my posts are my own, and not those of any persons or organisations I may work for or with.)

A little bit about me

I have a BSc in Veterinary Medicine from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and a MSc in Applied Ethology from Linköping University, where I specialised in equine behaviour. My thesis research explored the effect of training methods on horses’ perceptions of humans.

In both my research and my practice, I am interested in the post-anthropocentric perspective - how animals perceive the world, what they think of us, and how they experience the things we do to them.

I have a particular fondness for interdisciplinary research. I am currently a PhD candidate at the University of Leicester, where I combine ethology and archaeology to explore the lived experiences of animals in the past. My PhD project Living with humans: how animals experienced life in Iron and Viking Age Scandinavia is part of the European Research Council-funded Body Politics project.

Presenting the theoretical framework of my research at the Behaviour 2023 conference in Bielefeld, Germany.

I really enjoy bringing scientific research to the public, and have had the opportunity to lecture for a wide range of audiences including university students, breed associations, veterinary clinics, and horse owners.

Aside from my academic qualifications, I have practical experience working as an equine behaviour consultant with a special interest in rehabilitating severe fear and aggression cases. I am frequently consulted on behaviour and welfare issues by veterinarians, industry professionals, equestrian publications and charities.

Between 2020-2022 I was the chairperson of the Swedish Association of Academic Ethologists.

You can connect with me on here, via theequineethologist@substack.com or through my Instagram and Facebook page.

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Making science accessible to horse owners everywhere: perspectives on equine behaviour, welfare, and training by equine ethologist Renate Larssen, MSc.


Renate Larssen

Equine ethologist (MSc) passionate about bringing science to the horse world.