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Importance of personality traits in horses to breeders and riders

By P. Graf, U. K. von Borstel, M. Gauly

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Especially in horses, personality traits play an important role because horses' behavior influences their quality as a riding partner. In contrast to that, no objective assessment of horses' personality traits is available at present. Although initial efforts are made in this field, a successful implementation of behavior tests into horse performance tests depends on the acceptance of the riders and breeders. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to assess the importance of personality traits to breeders and riders as well as the degree of riders' acceptance of a temperament test as a more objective means of assessing equine personality traits. Using a web-based survey consisting of a 41-item questionnaire, a total of 1087 competition riders (49.3%), breeders (39.0%), leisure riders (37.9%), and professional riders (8.6%) of 13 countries were recruited to participate in the survey. When asked to split 1000 Euro among the different traits listed in the breeding goal, respondents clearly assigned more weight to the personality-related character and temperament traits (least squares meanstandard error; P

Publication Title Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research
Volume 8
Issue 5
Pages 316-325
ISBN/ISSN 1558-7878
DOI 10.1016/j.jveb.2013.05.006
Language English
Author Address Department of Animal Sciences, University of Goettingen, Albrecht-Thaer-Weg 3, 37075 Goettingen,
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animals
  3. Breeding
  4. Evaluation
  5. Handling
  6. Horses
  7. Internet
  8. Mammals
  9. peer-reviewed
  10. performance testing
  11. performance traits
  12. Personality
  13. quality
  14. Questionnaires
  15. standardization
  16. temperament
  17. traits
  18. ungulates
  19. vertebrates
  20. Weight
  1. peer-reviewed