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  1. Angeles en Cuatro Patas (Angels on Four Legs)

    We are a rehabilitation center and nonprofit dedicated to children and adolescents with special physical and mental needs.Angels on four legs began its activity over twenty-three years ago as an idea of ​​social work aimed at children with mild and chronic disabilities. This institution...

  2. Variables affecting the prevalence of behavioural problems in horses. Can riding style and other management factors be significant?

    Contributor(s):: Normando, Simona, Meers, Lieve, Samuels, William Ellery, Faustini, Massimo, Ödberg, Frank O.

    The effects of riding style and various management factors on the prevalence of stereotypies and other behavioural problems among 346 mixed-breed saddle horses (phase 1) and 101 Arabian horses (phase 2) were analysed through a questionnaire answered by owners. In phase 1, the questionnaire data...

  3. Towards a more objective assessment of equine personality using behavioural and physiological observations from performance test training

    Contributor(s):: König von Borstel, Uta, Pasing, Stephanie, Gauly, Matthias

    Current definitions of horse personality traits are rather vague, lacking clear, universally accepted guidelines for evaluation in performance tests. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to screen behavioural and physiological measurements taken during riding for potential links with...

  4. Repeatability and reliability of scores from ridden temperament tests conducted during performance tests

    Contributor(s):: König v. Borstel, Uta, Pirsich, Wiebke, Gauly, Matthias, Bruns, Erich

    Current scores for equine personality traits assessed during performance tests are characterised by high means and inadequate variation, hampering genetic selection for these traits. A number of temperament and related behaviour tests have been developed in order to make assessment of equine...

  5. Preference and demand for exercise in stabled horses

    Contributor(s):: Lee, Joyce, Floyd, Toby, Erb, Hollis, Houpt, Katherine

    Operant conditioning and two choice preference tests were used to assess the motivation of horses to be released from straight and from box stalls. The motivations for food, a companion, and release into a paddock were compared when the horses had to work for each commodity at increasing fixed...

  6. Object recognition and generalisation during habituation in horses

    Contributor(s):: Christensen, Janne Winther, Zharkikh, Tatjana, Chovaux, Elodie

    The ability of horses to habituate to frightening stimuli greatly increases safety in the horse–human relationship. A recent experiment suggested, however, that habituation to frightening visual stimuli is relatively stimulus-specific in horses and that shape and colour are important factors for...

  7. A novel scale of behavioural indicators of stress for use with domestic horses

    Contributor(s):: Young, Tamsin, Creighton, Emma, Smith, Tessa, Hosie, Charlotte

    Behaviour scores (BS) offer non-invasive, objective and easy to use ways of assessing welfare in animals. Their development has, however, largely focused on behavioural reactions to stressful events (often induced), and little use of physiological measures has been made to underpin and validate...

  8. Motivation for social contact in horses measured by operant conditioning

    Contributor(s):: Søndergaard, Eva, Jensen, Margit Bak, Nicol, Christine J.

    Although horses are social animals they are often housed individually with limited social contact to other horses and this may compromise their welfare. The present study included eight young female horses and investigated the strength of motivation for access to full social contact, head contact...

  9. Keeping horses in groups: A review

    Contributor(s):: Hartmann, Elke, Søndergaard, Eva, Keeling, Linda J.

    Although husbandry conditions for horses have improved over the last decades, many horses are still kept singly with limited or no physical contact to other horses. This is surprising, given the fact that keeping horses in groups is recognised best to fulfil their physical and behavioural needs,...

  10. Identifying potential risk situations for humans when removing horses from groups

    Contributor(s):: Hartmann, Elke, Søndergaard, Eva, Keeling, Linda J.

    Removing a horse from its social group may be considered risky, both for the handler and the horse, because other horses can interfere in the catching process. The main aim of this study was to identify where and when these risk situations occur while removing a horse from its group. A potential...

  11. Housing conditions and breed are associated with emotionality and cognitive abilities in riding school horses

    Contributor(s):: Lesimple, Clémence, Fureix, Carole, LeScolan, Nathalie, Richard-Yris, Marie-Annick, Hausberger, Martine

    Horses’ emotional reactivity is of a major importance in riding schools where a variety of more or less experienced riders are present. Horses’ learning abilities may also be important for work. Previous studies have shown that different intrinsic or extrinsic factors, such as breed, housing...

  12. Horses’ responses to variation in human approach

    Contributor(s):: Birke, Lynda, Hockenhull, Jo, Creighton, Emma, Pinno, Lisa, Mee, Jenny, Mills, Daniel

    The behaviour of humans around horses is thought to have a substantial impact on how people are perceived in subsequent interactions and many horse trainers give detailed advice on how handlers should behave when initially approaching a loose horse. Here we report on three studies designed to...

  13. Exploring aggression regulation in managed groups of horses Equus caballus

    Contributor(s):: Fureix, Carole, Bourjade, Marie, Henry, Séverine, Sankey, Carol, Hausberger, Martine

    Horses are highly social animals that have evolved to live in social groups. However, in modern husbandry systems, single housing prevails where horses experience social isolation, a challenge-to-welfare factor. One major reason for this single housing is the owners’ concerns that horses may...

  14. Equipment and training risk factors associated with ridden behaviour problems in UK leisure horses

    Contributor(s):: Hockenhull, Jo, Creighton, Emma

    Ridden behaviour problems are prevalent in the UK leisure horse population and may have implications for horse welfare and rider safety. This study aimed to identify risk factors associated with ridden behaviour problems in UK leisure horses from the training approaches and equipment used with...

  15. Equine ingestion of haylage harvested at different plant maturity stages

    Contributor(s):: Müller, Cecilia E.

    The influence of plant maturity at harvest of haylage on equine ingestion times and ingestive behaviour was studied. Haylage was harvested at three different occasions: June, July and August, from the primary growth of the same grass-dominated sward. Twelve adult horses of European warmblood type...

  16. Effects of repeated regrouping on horse behaviour and injuries

    Contributor(s):: Christensen, Janne Winther, Søndergaard, Eva, Thodberg, Karen, Halekoh, Ulrich

    Domestic horses are faced with social challenges throughout their lives due to limitations in social contact, space restrictions and frequent changes in social companionship. This is in contrast to natural conditions where horses live in relatively stable harem bands. Currently, little is known...

  17. Effects of environmental factors on cribbing activity by horses

    Contributor(s):: Whisher, Lindsay, Raum, Mary, Pina, Lisa, Pérez, Lucia, Erb, Hollis, Houpt, Charles, Houpt, Katherine

    Quantitative measurements of cribbing were made and the environmental influences on the behavior were examined. Licking the substrate preceded cribbing; the horses licked a median of 1.7 times before each cribbing event while eating grain and 1.1 times before each cribbing event while eating hay....

  18. Effects of enrichment items on activity and social interactions in domestic horses (Equus caballus)

    Contributor(s):: Jørgensen, Grete Helen Meisfjord, Liestøl, Silje Hanche-Olsen, Bøe, Knut Egil

    The aim of this study was to investigate the use of items intended to provide enrichment during turnout, both for individual and group kept horses in an attempt to reduce the amount of passive behaviours. The study was divided into two parts, where study 1 involved eight horses rotated through...

  19. The effect of stallions on social interactions in domestic and semi feral harems

    Contributor(s):: Granquist, Sandra M., Thorhallsdottir, Anna Gudrun, Sigurjonsdottir, Hrefna

    Earlier research indicates that stallions may supress interactions of their harem members, leading to less stable hierarchies and friendship bonds in harems compared to non-stallion groups. In this paper, the effect of the presense of a stallion on the social behaviour of mares was studied by...

  20. Does learning performance in horses relate to fearfulness, baseline stress hormone, and social rank?

    Contributor(s):: Christensen, Janne Winther, Ahrendt, Line Peerstrup, Lintrup, Randi, Gaillard, Charlotte, Palme, Rupert, Malmkvist, Jens

    The ability of horses to learn and remember new tasks is fundamentally important for their use by humans. Fearfulness may, however, interfere with learning, because stimuli in the environment can overshadow signals from the rider or handler. In addition, prolonged high levels of stress hormones...