Insights into the impacts Facebook can have on management decisions for (recreational) sport horses in New Zealand
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Citation:Mann, S. (2021). Insights into the impacts Facebook can have on management decisions for (recreational) sport horses in New Zealand. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Professional Practice). Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand. https://doi.org/10.34074/thes.5728
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/5728
The aims of this project are to firstly explore whether recreational horse owners in New Zealand are using equestrian-themed groups on Facebook to gain knowledge and advice on matters of horse husbandry rather than using more evidence-based methods, and secondly to gather insights about the impact this form of decision-making can have on horses. The research also explores reasons why professionals appear unable or unwilling to interact or respond to posts seeking or giving advice and replies to posts, even when the advice given is inappropriate to the situation, inaccurate, incomplete, and therefore compromises the welfare of the horse through poor decision making by owners. The ramifications of interacting or ignoring Facebook posts and advice given in equine-themed Facebook groups that the professionals have been tagged in, or that they come across in their personal Facebook dealings is examined as well. The significance of this study is that it highlights the effect on the management of horses, and on equine professionals that casual advice given on Facebook has. Previously published theory on New Zealand Facebook users and their motivation neglects to address advice sought for animals and particularly horses. This report demonstrates to what extent and in what circumstances Facebook users in New Zealand equestrian-themed groups are likely to ask for or give advice by inviting group members to complete an anonymous online survey. 160 people replied to the invitation to take part in the anonymous survey and data from 156 valid responses was analysed. The results are then discussed in a series of interviews with a range of equine professionals from around New Zealand. The mixed methods approach used in this project allowed me to firstly canvas a broad number of New Zealand horse owners on Facebook quantitively, and then to develop auto ethnographical learning through collegial discussion in the interview section.
Keywords:New Zealand, horse husbandry, horse trainers, horse-carers, decision making, Facebook, social media, well being, equine professionals
ANZSRC Field of Research:300999 Veterinary sciences not elsewhere classified, 470199 Communication and media studies not elsewhere classified
Degree:Master of Professional Practice, Otago Polytechnic
Supervisors:Kirkwood, Jo; Donnelly, Cushla
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