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Rural at the Edge
– the 2nd Nordic conference for rural research

21st to 23rd of May 2012, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu

WG 3.4 Cantering at the Edge: Encounters between humans and horses in the rural

Working hours and places: Wed 23rd  10.15-12.00 AU101
Rhys Evans, Norwegian College for Agriculture and Rural Development, Norway

Nora Schuurman, University of Eastern Finland, Finland

Maarit Sireni, University of Eastern Finland, Finland

The growth of equine sector in the past few decades is a multi-faceted phenomenon that can be traced back to the transformations in human–horse relations as part of the new role of animals as companions and in leisure activities, and to the significance of nature-related activities creating new forms of rural–urban interaction. These developments are seen across all Nordic countries, resulting in both diverse rural entrepreneurship and the increase of horsekeeping for leisure purposes. In the emerging field of equine research, these phenomena are being investigated from socio-economic, geographic and cultural viewpoints, as well as health and education perspectives. Further, researchers in the Nordic countries are at the forefront of this research.  In this working group, presentations are welcomed which look at the encounters between humans and horses in mainstream and equestrian lifestyles, the rural and the urban, history and the present, and the empirical and theoretical.

Photo: Tone Arstila