Action Research with and for Equines: Transforming the Welfare of Working Equines in International Mountain Tourism

Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesOral presentation


The welfare of equines working as pack animals on treks and expeditions within the international mountain tourism industry is often severely compromised. Awareness of these issues and of what prevents owners, communities and the wider industry knowing and attending to the equine and to equine welfare has been advanced through a ten-year research and development initiative and Action Research project focussing on the international mountain tourism industry in the Moroccan High Atlas. An approach based on Theory U and on the development of co-seeing, co-sensing and co-creating journeys has allowed deeper levels of awareness to be accessed and developed. Shifting the quality of attention, of meeting and of dialogue has allowed eco-system awareness to develop, where previously silo-thinking and ego-system awareness had prevailed. This has allowed muleteering practice to evolve away from practices based on control and domination towards practices based on the dialogical encounter. This paper will explore the role of Action Research in developing the awareness of the tourism industry and the communities of practice it supports. Absencing as a barrier to awareness and the approaches available to overcome it will be explored. A key distinction will be made between the outcomes arising from the co-creative projects arising from genuine meeting and dialogue and the outcomes arising from the failure to meet and dialogue genuinely, a failure that gives rise to multiplicity and ontological politics.
Period19 Jun 201821 Jun 2018
Event titleThe second biannual Equine Cultures in Transition conference, Human-horse relationships in work and play: Interspecies encounters in business, tourism and beyond
Event typeConference
Conference number2
LocationLeeds, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational