Engagement behaviour of donkeys during equine assisted activities

Presentation date

There is a wealth of research citing the benefits of Equid Assisted Interventions (EAI's) but these are often anthropocentric and fail to include measures that capture donkey engagement behaviours during sessions. This observational bias, possibly quite common in EAI research, reinforces the assumption that animal activities are somehow enriching for the non-human animal thus welfare interests can be overlooked. By designing and implementing a unique Quality of Engagement Tool (QET), I was able to capture engagement behaviours of both donkeys and autistic children during interaction sessions and identify potential enrichment or welfare measures for both species participants.