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The 24 behaviors of the ridden horse in pain:
Shifting the paradigm of how we see lameness

This documentary film is streaming for free at  and on Smart TV platforms including Amazon Fire, AppleTV, Roku and Samsung LG  via the EQUUS Television Network

The 24 Behaviors of the Ridden Horse in Pain” is a 35 minutes’ documentary featuring world-renowned expert in equine orthopaedics, Dr Sue Dyson, and her research on how “bad” horse behaviour can actually be an early indicator of pain.


The film follows Dr Dyson and Dr Jim Myers of Gold Coast Equine, as they examine and diagnose show jumper Lauren McMahon’s beloved mare Galina, who was not obviously lame, yet seemed increasingly unhappy under saddle. Lauren had “tried everything” to figure out what was wrong, including ulcer treatments, multiple joint injections and specialized shoeing but Galina only became more resistant under saddle.


Galina’s story is not uncommon for horses that do not present with an obvious head bobbing lameness. Oftentimes these are horses that get labelled as “resistant,” “lazy,” and for horses that buck or rear from pain, “explosive.” Trainers often tell riders to “push them through it.” 

The film educates horse lovers on how to spot the early signs of pain while taking viewers on an emotional “ride” through the eyes of a young girl who loves her horse and will stop at nothing to try to figure out how to make her comfortable.  

It has received highly positive global media coverage and was promoted by many, including Olympic riders, Mary King (UK) and Melanie Smith-Taylor (USA). The documentary received an award for the best educational film at the 10thInternational Equus Film and Arts Festival, Sacramento, USA in December 2022. 



‘I have watched it from start to finish just now and I must confess it really got to me and caused me to shed a tear or two. It’s a genius 35mins of compelling, informative and moving footage. It brings the ethogram alive in an easy to understand way with your clear explanations and the clever graphics. As for Galina and Lauren - the application of the ethogram to the journey of understanding Galina’s poor performance is so slickly executed and Lauren’s sincere and heartfelt contributions are engaging and moving. It’s the closing roll that really got me though - all those wishes for horses. This is a fantastic step to help others understand how and believe in why we must listen to these magnificent beasts to give us so much, despite their suffering.’

‘I have just watched the trailer and I am actually crying. This is, without any doubt in my mind, the biggest contribution to equine welfare ever! The fact that the film will be shared without charge is absolutely fantastic - what a gift to horses and their people.’

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