Page 1: Consent Form

Consent Form

PROJECT TITLE: Prevalence and perceived effects of environmental enrichment on behaviour and welfare of group-housed horses.

INVITATION: You are being asked to take part in a research study on enrichment for horses in outdoor areas, e.g. shelters, feeding stations, herb gardens, scratching posts, varying surfaces, toys, etc. You will be asked to answer questions regarding any enrichment items you provide for your horse(s), how you perceive their effects on your horse(s) as well as some general information about yourself and your horse facility. This study is being conducted by Nicole Miggitsch, and the purpose of this study is for a MSc Equine Science dissertation at the University of Edinburgh. Nicole Miggitsch‘s research supervisors are Cynthia Naydani and Bryony Lancaster from the University of Edinburgh. The project has ethical approval from the R(D)SVS Human Ethics Review Committee, University of Edinburgh, UK.

ELIGIBILITY: Persons completing the survey must be 18+ years and owning or managing an outdoor area for group-housed horses with one or more enrichment items. Enrichment items can be implemented artificially or occurring naturally. Enrichment is to be in the horses' communal area and accessible by the horses on-demand rather than during human-led activities. Participants should be comfortable reading and responding to questions written in plain English. 

INVOLVEMENT: This survey consists of ranking, multiple-choice and free-text questions. All questions are asked in English. Respondents will be asked to select which enrichment items they have implemented for their horses and answer questions on the perceived benefits or disadvantages of these items, as well as some information on their facility and the horses living there. 

TIME COMMITMENT: The survey should typically take 10 - 15 minutes of your time.

PARTICIPANTS’ RIGHTS: You may decide to stop being a part of the research study without explanation, up until you submit your survey responses. Due to the anonymous nature of this survey, it is not possible to withdraw responses after you have submitted the complete survey. You have the right to omit or refuse to answer or respond to any question that is asked of you. Some questions in the survey maybe mandatory and you may not have the option not to respond, in which case do not submit your survey. You have the right to have your questions about the procedures answered (unless answering these questions would interfere with the study’s outcome). If you have any questions as a result of reading this information sheet, you should ask the researcher before submitting your survey results. The anonymised collected data may also be shared with other researchers, if you don’t agree to this, please don’t submit your survey.

BENEFITS AND RISKS: There are no known benefits or risks for you in this study. All data will be submitted and stored anonymously and saved on an encrypted external drive for the express purpose of the study and publication of said study.

COST, REIMBURSEMENT AND COMPENSATION: Your participation in this study is voluntary.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Nicole Miggitsch (Email: will be glad to answer your questions about this study at any time. If you want to find out about the final results of this study, you are welcome to contact Nicole Miggitsch (Email: after 30th June 2023, who will be glad to let you know when the study has been published.

Informed Consent Form

CONSENT STATEMENT: Eligibility: Persons completing the survey must be 18+ years and owning or managing an outdoor area for group-housed horses with one or more enrichment items. They will be asked questions about them, their facility and the horses living there, as well as the implemented enrichment items and their effect on them, their horses and the environment.


  • The data we collect does not contain any personal/identifying information about you (such as name, email or IP address).
  • Your anonymity will be maintained throughout the survey.
  • The online survey platform that we are using is compliant with UK GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018.

By submitting your survey responses, you are confirming that:

  • You understand the purpose of this study, and that you are able to ask questions about it at any time.
  • You understand that you are free to withdraw your consent for involvement, however, as the survey is anonymous, once the ‘submit’ button is clicked, it will not be possible to withdraw.
  • You understand that your name will not appear in any published document relating to this study, as all information collected is completely anonymous.
  • You understand that the data collected will - though fully anonymised - appear in publications and reports relevant to this area of research.
  • The data may also be used by supervisors or others in future ethically approved research projects.

By continuing and submitting a response to the survey, you have read and understood the above and have given informed consent.