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Trailer loading stress in horses: behavioral and physiological effects of nonaversive training (TTEAM)

By S. Shanahan

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Resistance in the horse to trailer loading is a common source of stress and injury to horses and their handlers. The objective of this study was to determine whether non-aversive training based on the Tellington-Touch Equine Awareness Method (TTEAM; Tellington-Jones & Bruns, 1988) would decrease loading time and reduce stress during loading for horses with a history of reluctance to load. Ten horses described by their owners as "problem loaders" were subjected to pretraining and posttraining assessments of loading. Each assessment involved two 7-min loading attempts during which heart rate and saliva cortisol were measured. The training consisted of six 30-min sessions over a 2-week period during which the horse and owner participated in basic leading exercises with obstacles simulating aspects of trailering. Assessment showed heart rate and saliva cortisol increased significantly during loading as compared to baseline (p

Publication Title Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Volume 6
Issue 4
Pages 263-274
ISBN/ISSN 1088-8705
Publisher Taylor & Francis
DOI 10.1207/s15327604jaws0604_1
Language English
Author Address 339 Townline Road East, Carleton Place, Ontario, K7C 3S2,
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animal physiology
  3. Animals
  4. Animal transport
  5. Animal welfare
  6. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  7. Cortisol
  8. Heart rate
  9. Horses
  10. Hydrocortisone
  11. Mammals
  12. peer-reviewed
  13. saliva
  14. Stress
  15. training of animals
  16. ungulates
  17. vertebrates
  1. peer-reviewed