The Praxis of Horse Riding

An Autoethnographic Study


  • Mari Zetterqvist Blokhuis Södertörn University



In an autoethnographic approach, theories of practical knowledge were used to explore the praxis of riding and to describe, interpret, and analyze the interspecies relation between rider and horse during riding. Both rider and horse are embodied subjects taking part in an active process of “becoming with”, and as a result of the interaction, both parts change and adapt to each other resulting in a shared practical knowledge. To build a trustful relation during riding, the rider’s as well as the horse’s emotions and feelings need to be taken into account. It is suggested that there are two kinds of “equestrian feel”, one connected to the rider’s body feeling of the horse through his/her body while the other is an “inner” equestrian feel when rider and horse move as one body, like a centaur. The latter could be seen as an expression of phronesis since it is guided by what is good for the human (and hopefully the horse) in itself rather than aiming at a specific outcome.


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Author Biography

Mari Zetterqvist Blokhuis, Södertörn University

Mari Zetterqvist Blokhuis is a doctoral student at the Centre for Studies in Practical Knowledge at Södertörn University in Sweden. She is involved in a project called Horse Cultures in Transition – ethics and interaction between human and horse in Sweden and Poland. Her focus is to explore the communication between rider and horse in equestrian sport, and what strategies riding instructors/trainers have to teach riders how to communicate with their horse. She is a professional riding instructor with a BSc in social science.




How to Cite

Zetterqvist Blokhuis, Mari. 2018. “The Praxis of Horse Riding: An Autoethnographic Study”. Humanimalia 9 (2):47-67.