Diffusion of the Texas Cooperative Extension's horse theft awareness and prevention initiative
Swaim, Pattrick Lee, Jr.
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The primary purpose of this study was to identify the Horse Theft Awareness and Prevention Initiative (HTAPI) participants and the theft prevention practices used in Texas. The secondary purpose was to evaluate the educational effectiveness of the HTAPI on the first three of Kirkpatrick??s levels, namely learner satisfaction, knowledge acquired, and change in behavior. The third purpose was to examine relationships between the rate of adoption of HTAPI recommended practices and the following demographic variables: gender, age, equine discipline, number of horses owned, and size of investment in the equine business. Survey instruments were used to gather data. Due to sampling constraints, the Solomon four step research design method was modified by removing one group following Seger??s (1998). The sample groups consisted of a pre/only test group, pre/post test group, post/only test group minus the control pre/post test group. The pre/only sample group data was collected in Denton and Montgomery Counties and yielded 56 usable instruments. Using Dillman??s (2000) procedures, data from participants of the HTAPI programs were collected using two mailed survey instruments. One hundred ninety two participants of the 2004 Mare Foal, Basic Horse Management 101, and the Performance Horse workshops were mailed a post/only instrument; 96 were returned for a 49% response rate. Thirty two pre-test instruments were administered in Hopkins and Polk County and thirty days later these participants were mailed a post/only instrument. A response rate of 66% and 63% in the respective sample groups. The sample population can be described as mainly women (68.3%) 43 years of age who owned 7.3 horses each. The average investment in horses totaled $31,658. The most frequently owned breed was the Quarter Horse (f=133), and the most frequently listed discipline was for breeding purposes (f=121). There were no relationships detected between gender or age and theft prevention practices or innovativeness. Positive relationships were found between the breeds of horses owned and the type of permanent identification of horses and the theft prevention practices used. Additionally, positive relationships were detected between breeding and riding discipline of horses, the types of permanent identification, the theft prevention practices used, and owner innovativeness.