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Nina Alveheim Känsälä

Nina Alveheim Känsälä
After a career as a professional rider and trainer in dressage, I started to study animal science. Nowadays I combine them - the daily training with horses and students and life as a doctoral student.


In Sweden, equestrian sports have a large number of practitioners and engages many. The Swedish horse population is estimated to 355,000. In total, 500,000 people in Sweden regularly ride and equestrian sports is the third biggest youth sport (7-25 years) in Sweden. A total of 18,500 full-year jobs is created by the horse industry and the turnover for the horse industry is SEK 32 billion.

Requirements that equestrian sport should be investigated from a horse welfare perspective come from many parts of society. An increasing awareness of horse welfare is spreading in society and the public may question that the horse is used on the human condition if there are perceived welfare problems. In order to work with the equestrian sport's "social license to operate", the acceptance and respect for the sport, knowledge dissemination is required. 

The aim of the study is to develop knowledge and understanding of perceived and actual effects of our interaction with the horse. The aim is also to investigate to what extent there is evidence of the perceived positive and negative values. 

In the first part of the study, the aim was to investigate attitudes of lay people and riders in Sweden regarding equestrian sports; dressage, show jumping and three-day eventing. We hypothesized that there would be a difference in attitudes between lay people and riders but that the majority describes equestrian sports with positive or neutral words. Thereafter, an experimental study on physiological responses will be conducted, based on the perceived animal welfare problems in equestrian sports.



University degrees 
1999 University Diploma in Equine Studies, SLU
2015 Degree of Bachelor of Science in Equine Studies, SLU
2018 Degree of Master of Science in Animal Science, SLU 
2019- On-going doctoral studies in Equestrianism and Horse Welfare SLU, Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry, Uppsala

Education within the horse industry 

1999  Riding teacher level III, International Group of Equestrian Qualifications (IGEQ) 

2019 B-trainer in dressage, Swedish Equestrian Federation


Doctoral Student at the Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry (AFB); Division of Anatomy and Physiology
Telephone: +46703003750
Postal address:
Institutionen för anatomi, fysiologi och biokemi
Box 7011
Visiting address: VHC Huvudentré, Ulls väg 26, hus 5, plan 4, Uppsala