The emotion fear promotes the fitness of wild animals. In a farm environment, exaggerated fear, e.g., in horses, can cause several problems. Therefore, knowledge about fear in horses helps to prevent or to handle potential fear-inducing situations. The present study investigated which behavioural fear responses can be observed during exposure of horses to a novel stimulus, whether these behavioural responses are correlated with physiological changes, and whether and how specifically these changes are reduced after habituation training to one of the novel objects. Our data shows that behavioural and physiological fear responses in horses are correlated, are reliable to observe and to measure, and appear in a typical chronological order. Furthermore, after habituation-training to an object, the fear response to this object is specifically attenuated whereas the fear response to another object remains.
|Publication Title||Applied Animal Behaviour Science|
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