Discovering the Meaning of the Experience of Interacting with Horses.

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dc.contributor.advisor Watkinson, Ailsa Mills, Suellen Joan 2012-11-13T20:16:12Z 2012-11-13T20:16:12Z 2012-08
dc.description A Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Social Work, University of Regina. ix, 147 l. en_US
dc.description.abstract The literature on the human-animal bond is vast and has focused mainly on the bond between humans and their pets or small companion animals. However, within the literature, few studies exist that explore the human-horse interaction. Furthermore, studies that specifically examine the human partner’s perceived meaning of human-horse interactions are limited. Thus, the purpose of this qualitative, phenomenological study is to explore the lived experiences of adults who have interacted with horses. The intent of the study is to: 1) explore the essence or meaning of human-horse interactions, and 2) examine how this essence may contribute to a perceived sense of well-being. This study adheres to phenomenological data collection and analysis methods. Data was collected through semi-structured, in-depth interviews with eight adult participants who reside in Saskatchewan. Data analysis followed the procedures of phenomenal analysis as outlined by Moustakas (1994). The meaning or essence of the participants’ experiences of their interaction with horses was constructed through the emergence of central themes coming from the data. The essence of the findings shows that interacting with horses was beneficial to the eight participants in five ways. The five themes that emerged from the data are: the physical benefits that being around horses provides, the intellectual growth of individuals interacting with horses, the emotional healing that takes place within individuals, the social benefits of relationships that are formed, and the spiritual space horses seemingly create in individuals. This research provides emerging knowledge and insight into interactions between humans and horses, which may in turn lead to improvements in the practice of equine-assisted activities. This research contributes to the social work knowledge base by creating an examination of the perceived meaning and roles of horses as contributors to human well-being. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, University of Regina en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Horses--Effect of human beings on--Saskatchewan
dc.subject.lcsh Horses--Therapeutic use--Saskatchewan
dc.subject.lcsh Human-animal relationships--Saskatchewan
dc.title Discovering the Meaning of the Experience of Interacting with Horses. en_US
dc.type Thesis en
dc.description.authorstatus Student en
dc.description.peerreview yes en Master of Social Work (MSW) en_US Master's en Social Work en_US University of Regina en Faculty of Social Work en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Halabuza, Donalda
dc.contributor.committeemember Chalmers, Darlene
dc.contributor.committeemember Marques, Fernando
dc.contributor.externalexaminer Pollack, Shoshana
dc.identifier.tcnumber TC-SRU-3620

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