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What is E-BARQ?

This video, courtesy of the International Society for Equitation Science, walks you through the development of E-BARQ and explains how you can participate


E-BARQ Press Release

The Equine Behavior Assessment and Research Questionnaire (E-BARQ) Press Release

Since ancient times, horse behaviour and the bond between horses and humans, have been a source of intrigue and fascination.

The horse-lore that has accumulated over the centuries is a rich mix of both useful practice (approaching horses from their left side, making them slightly less reactive) and unsubstantiated myth, such as the one that chestnut horses are especially difficult to deal with.

This is why the University of Sydney has launched the Equine Behavior Assessment and Research Questionnaire (E-BARQ), an ongoing global database of horse behaviour. The study that explores how horse training and management interact with behaviour. It will reveal invaluable information on how our training and management affect behaviour and how, in turn, behaviour affects horse welfare. Beyond the immediate and direct research outcomes, E-BARQ also has great benefits to horse owners, riders and trainers.

On completion of the questionnaire, contributors receive a graph that compares their horse with 1000’s of other horses across various different categories. They also receive a private dashboard where they can log each of their horses and view their E-BARQ results. This innovative tool is completely free of charge.

Horse owners can upload photographs to a custom-built online dashboard, recording their horse’s progress in training over time. For the first time, they’ll also be able to compare their horse’s behaviour with that of other horses. The “share-&-compare” graphs will reveal attributes such as trainability, rideability, handling, compliance, boldness, and human social confidence.

E-BARQ’s main benefits are:

  • E-BARQ is open to all owners/handlers, regardless of their horse or pony’s breed, height or age and provides users with a free dashboard to store their horses’ results and track their progress.
  • Owners can compare their horses’ behaviour to others around the world, giving them a useful benchmark.
  • Riders and handlers can monitor their horse’s progress over time as they can return to their E-BARQ dashboard every 6 months and re-take the questionnaire, updating their scores.
  • Owners and riders will get a new insight into which areas their horses are performing well in and where they may require help.
  • As E-BARQ can monitor the longitudinal consequences of different training methods, it can be a powerful tool for advancing horse welfare. It will also inform evidence-based judgements on the ethics and sustainability of horse sports.
  • E-BARQ will reveal the true impact of ancient traditions and modern trends. This can use used by everyone, from the general riding public to equine scientists and veterinarians.

This project builds on a similar project for dogs (C-BARQ), which has collected information on over 85,000 dogs and been used in more than 70 research studies that have revealed behavioural differences, for example, that relate to head and body shape and the astonishing effect of desexing on behaviour. Without doubt, C-BARQ has revolutionised our understanding of dog behaviour.

After 8 years of planning, we are very excited about E-BARQ, It is a not-for-profit project that allows the global horse-folk community to offer their observational data to the University of Sydney and gain useful benefits in return.

You can access E-BARQ here: https://e-barq.com/

You can access an E-BARQ how-to video here: https://youtu.be/AFm_kctjP3s

The questionnaire and app will expose how training and management influences horse behaviour, and vice versa. They will reveal how breeds differ in responses and illuminate breed-typical personality types, how male and female horses differ, how horses used in different disciplines (such as show-jumping versus dressage) differ in their behaviour and how horse behaviour changes with maturation and training.

A horse’s behaviour has a direct impact on its usefulness and that, in turn, affects its value and – sadly – the care it receives. There is evidence from Europe that over 65% of horses outside the racing industry are slaughtered before the age of seven, very often for behavioural reasons.

Information provided by E-BARQ could potentially help buyers identify warning signs of dangerous behaviours and make more informed choices when purchasing. E-BARQ also holds great promise in tracking, welfare monitoring, promoting early intervention and the education of new owners in the area of horse rescue and re-homing.

By providing researchers with an unprecedented wealth of information, E-BARQ has the potential to revolutionise the way we train and manage our horses and, as a result, make real and lasting positive changes in horse welfare and the sustainability of horse sports.

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact the E-BARQ research team at [email protected] and be sure to complete an E-BARQ for your horse at www.e-barq.com.



A quick walk through to show you how to get started with E-BARQ

E-BARQ Workshop

The International Society for Equitation Science Conference, Rome 21st September, 2018


E-BARQ's Development


E-BARQ is now available. Click below to get your free E-BARQ dashboard and your horses' results!



Now with data on over 80,000 dogs, C-BARQ provides dog owners and professionals with evaluations on their dog's temperament and behaviour.



The more recently developed Fe-BARQ, will tell you how your cat's behaviour compares to others. Take the Fe-BARQ now and find out how your cat compares.

Take Fe-BARQ

What's Included?

E-BARQ will investigate all aspects of horse behaviour, management and training.


E-BARQ will investigate horse behaviour relating to riding, handling, ground work and at liberty.


How you house, feed and work your horses will be examined.


By looking at training types and frequencies, E-BARQ can investigate relationships between training, management and behaviour.

How Things Stack Up

After completing the survey, horse owners will be taken to a page that shows how their particular horse compares to others.

Owners can then re-take the E-BARQ at 6-monthly intervals to keep track of their progress - a great incentive for setting positive goals, regardless of your horse's age, breed or your area of interest. 

E-BARQ's Who's Who

Kate Fenner (contact)

PhD candidate The Sydney School of Veterinary Science University of Sydney. Owner Kandoo Equine Online Training System.

Professor Paul McGreevy

Professor of Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare Science, University of Sydney, The Sydney School of Veterinary Science.

Dr Andrew McLean

PhD (Equine Cognition and Learning), University of Melbourne. Director Equitation Science International.

Professor James Serpell

Professor of Ethics and Animal Welfare, University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine.

International Panel

The E-BARQ team are very grateful to the panel of knowledgeable equine specialists for their generous donation of time and expertise in the development of the questionnaire.

Panel Members: Wayne Channon, Cristina Wilkins, Christine Johnson, Julie Taylor, Luke Thomas, Justine Harrison, Warwick McLean, Scott Brodie and Jen Johnson

E-BARQ Participant Information Statement

Click on the image to download the Participant Information Statement to learn about what happens with your data and how your personal information is protected.

E-BARQ Contributors

Many experts, from around the world, have been involved in the development of E-BARQ and we are extremely grateful for their assistance.

Lisa Ashton, Scott Brodie, Georgie Caspar, Jim Cook, Wayne Channon, Eli Gibson, Lydia Gu, Bianca Haase, Justine Harrison, Camie Heleski, Cathrynn Henshall, Felix Hu, Christine Johnson, Jen Johnson, Mary Klinck, Ada Ma, Sophie Masters, Paul McGreevy, Andrew  McLean, Warwick McLean, Emily O’Connell, Adhish Panta, Marc Pierard, Hayley Randle, James Serpell, Irene Sheng, William Smith, Julie Taylor, Luke Thomas, Diane Van Rooy, Brandon Velie, Claire Wade, Amanda Warren-Smith, Cristina Wilkins, Cali Willet and Bethany Wilson.

Pilot study for the development of the Equine Behaviour Assessment and Research Questionnaire

2017 International Society for Equitation Science Conference, Wagga Wagga, Australia.


E-BARQ Press Release

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“Horse welfare is illustrated by the horse’s behaviour and determined by its training and management”


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