The basic concepts in Applied Equine Zooanthropology are described in “Fondamenti di Zooantropologia” (Foundation of Zooanthropology, Marchesini, 2005). Three important elements are the definition of the inter-species relationship, alterity and the reference concept:
1 – Relationship
The relationship is a result of meeting-interaction with the horse based on:
- the aknowledgement of the horse with its own subjectivity, diversity and peculiarities;
- the activation of a dialogical dimension between horse and human, both on the ground as on horseback;
- the added value of the horse as reference for human;
- a reciprocal expression for both horse and human.
2 – Horse alterity / otherness
The alterity is the state of the horse, characterized by:
- the subjectivity of the horse (not the horse as an object/machine);
- the diversity of the horse (not as result of anthropomorphism);
- the individuality of the horse (not as result of human projections).
3 – The horse as reference
The horse as reference is the role that a person aknowledges to the animal in the relational process. A value that brings the horse as active protagonist of the relationship and not as instrument. This value is connected with the capacity of a person to decentralize himself in the relationship with the horse (the not anthropocentric approach).
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