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Carol Hall

Carol Hall

School Research Coordinator - Reader

School of Animal Rural & Environmental Sciences

Staff Group(s)
Animal and Equine


Dr Carol Hall is a Reader in Equitation Science. She leads the Animal Behaviour, Performance and Welfare Research Group in the School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences. Dr Hall also teaches on BSc and MSc courses. She is currently Director of Studies for two PhD students, co-supervisor for a third and has in the past supervised three PhD students to completion (two as Director of Studies).

Dr Hall studied Psychology for her first degree and has combined this knowledge with her experience in equestrian sports in the development of innovative taught modules. These include modules in:

  • Ethology and welfare
  • The assessment of equine behaviour

She also supervises student research projects at undergraduate and postgraduate level with a particular interest in the relatively new area of Equitation Science.

Career overview

Research areas

Dr Hall's research into equine behaviour and welfare is carried out within the Animal Behaviour, Performance and Welfare Research Group. Research in the area of Equitation Science is conducted in collaboration with the Sport, Health and Performance Enhancement Research Group (SHAPE).

Dr Hall's research interests include the following:

  • Equitation Science
  • Equine perception: the visual ability of horses (in particular colour vision)
  • Visual behaviour of equestrian athletes (visual memory, eye tracking in different equestrian disciplines and the impact on performance)
  • Equine welfare (non-invasive measures of stress; horse transport)
  • Equine emotion (2D images, facial expression, heart rate variability).

Most recently she has been involved in the area of animal-computer interactions (ACI), specifically with the development of the Horse Automated Behaviour Identification Tool (HABIT).

Dr Hall has supervised two PhD projects to completion:

  • Assessing affective state in the horse using heart rate variability
  • Non-invasive physiological measures of stress in the horse (infrared themography)

She has supervised numerous undergraduate projects and has a particular interest in:

  • Evaluation of ridden horse welfare
  • Equine visual ability
  • Environmental enrichment aimed at increasing social cohesion in horses
  • Visual behaviour in equestrian athletes

Opportunities to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil/PhD exist and further information may be obtained from the NTU Graduate School.

External activity

Dr Hall is a director on the board of the National Equine Welfare Council (NEWC). She is one of the original members of the International Society for Equitation Science (ISES) and was on the organising committee for the 2012 international conference (Edinburgh, UK). She is a qualified riding instructor (British Horse Society Intermediate Instructor) and has a particular interest in Classical Equitation.

Dr Hall is an external examiner for Anglia Ruskin University and has produced course material for the University of Edinburgh.

Sponsors and collaborators

Current collaborative research projects include:


Domesticated horses differ in their behavioural and physiological responses to isolated and group housing. Yarnell K, Hall C, Royle C, Walker S, Physiology and Behavior, 2015, 143, 51-57

Evolving protocols for research in equitation science. Pierard M, Hall C, König von Borstel U, Averis A, Hawson L, McLean A, Nevison C, Visser K, McGreevy P, Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 2015, 10 (3), 255-266

Keeping your eye on the rail: gaze behaviour of horse riders approaching a jump. Hall C, Varley I, Kay R and Crundall D, PLoS ONE, 2014, 9 (5)

Assessing ridden horse behaviour: professional judgement and physiological measures. Hall C, Kay R and Yarnell K, Journal of veterinary behaviour: Clinical Applications and Research, 2014, 9 (2), 22-29

A retinoscopic survey of 333 horses and ponies in the UK. Bracun A, Ellis AD and Hall C, Veterinary Ophthalmology, 2014, 17 (s1), 90-96

An assessment of the aversive nature of an animal management procedure (clipping) using behavioral and physiological measures. Yarnell K, Hall C and Billett E, Physiology & Behavior, 2013, 118, 32-39

The use of a mirror reduces isolation stress in horses being transported by trailer. Kay R and Hall C, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 2009, 116 237-243

The relationship between visual memory and rider experience in a show-jumping context. Hall C, Liley C, Murphy J and Crundall D, The Veterinary Journal, 2009, 181, 29-33

See all of Carol Hall's publications...

Press expertise

  • Equine vision and cognition (learning ability)
  • Equine welfare
  • Assessing equine emotion
  • Human visual behaviour in equestrian sports
  • Equine transport