In 1994 the German National Equestrian Federation published a booklet, “Ethical Principles for the True Horseman”. The following are the nine ethical principles they included:
1. Anyone involved with a horse takes over responsibility for this living creature entrusted to him.
2. The horse must be kept in a way that is in keeping with its natural living requirements.
3. Highest priority must be accorded to the physical as well as psychological health of the horse, irrespective of the purpose for which it is used.
4. Man must respect every horse alike, regardless of its breed, age and sex and its use for breeding, for recreation or in sporting competition.
5. Knowledge of the history of the horse, its needs, and how to handle it are part of our historic-cultural heritage. This information must be cherished and safeguarded in order to be passed on to the next generations.
6. Contact and dealings with horses are character-building experiences and of valuable significance to the development of the human being – in particular, the young person. This aspect must always be respected and promoted.
7. The human who participates in equestrian sport with his horse must subject himself, as well as his horse to training. The goal of any training is to bring about the best possible harmony between rider and horse.
8. The use of the horse in competition as well as in general riding, driving and vaulting must be reared toward the horse`s ability, temperament and willingness to perform. Manipulating a horse`s capacity to work by means of medication or other “horse-unfriendly” influences should be rejected by all and people engaged in such practices should be prosecuted.
9. The responsibility a human has for the horse entrusted to him includes the end of the horse`s live. The human must always assume this responsibility and implement any decisions in the best interest of the horse.
Understanding the nature of the horse and practicing natural horsemanship encompasses these principles. It is our responsibility as our horse`s partner to live by these principles.