12 yearlings (20-22-months-old) were divided into 2 groups and subjected to 2 different training schedules: (a) 30 min of training daily (the daily trained group); and (b) 30 min of training for 4 days, followed by a 3-day rest (the intermittently trained group), in order to compare the effect of 2 training methods on the ability of the horses to learn to be driven and ridden and to respond to the handlers' cues. The length of this experimental training was 17 days. The first step of training was surcingling and proceeded to lunging, to driving from the ground, and finally to being ridden at a trot on a track. Both groups were tested 4 times during the experimental period when they were at the same stage of training. They were driven and then ridden at a walk by a rider on a specified course and evaluated. The time to complete the course, accuracy of traveling the course, and heart rate during the test were used as the indicators of success in training. In 3 out of the 4 tests, the daily trained group tended to move faster and with more accuracy than the intermittently trained group. It would appear that daily training without a long interruption is more effective for yearlings.
|Publication Title||Applied Animal Behaviour Science|
|Author Address||Equine Research Institute, Japan Racing Association, 321-4 Tokami-Cho, Utsunomiya, Tochigi 320-0856, Japan. firstname.lastname@example.org|
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