A sure hand
A person owns a riding stable with several ponies. One spirited pony has been off work for several weeks and the owner wants to use him in a beginner’s lesson. They ask one of their more experienced riders to “tune him up” before the lesson.
This is another scenario with a median rank of 2 and total responses ranging from 0 to 5. DuBois says the variety in these responses may be due to the individual expert’s interpretation of the description, as well as their own personal experiences in similar situations.
DuBois says that a person’s own experiences have a huge influence on how they view welfare issues. “The ambiguity of the wording is likely the reason for the wide range of responses,” she says. “To some, ‘tuning up’ might mean briefly longeing the pony before the lesson. To others, it may have a more negative connotation and therefore the situation warrants a higher ranking. Personal experience, especially with respect to rough handling, arguably played an important role in how experts perceived this situation.”
You can’t discount a person’s experiences, or your own for that matter, but it’s important to understand how they may influence perceptions---either positively or negatively---when you’re having welfare discussions.