Unwanted Horse Population in Illinois: Perceptions of Horse Owners, Non-Horse Owners, and Equine Industry Stakeholders

This paper presents the results of an investigation to determine perceptions, awareness, and knowledge of the unwanted horse population in Illinois from the viewpoint of horse owners, non-horse owners, and equine industry stakeholders. A questionnaire included items that pertained to knowledge of current legislation, equine background, current methods of controlling the unwanted horse population, and […]

Coat Clipping of Horses: A Survey

Coat clipping is a common practice in sport horses; however, timing, purpose, technique, and clips vary widely, as do the management and feeding of a clipped horse. The aim of this study was to collect data regarding common clipping practices. A questionnaire was published online in Germany and contained 32 questions. Four hundred ninety-eight people […]

Body language: Its importance for communication with horses

Body language is important for communication between individuals. Body language is based on the fact that the thought of performing a known action, alone, will activate the motor neurons used for the action, resulting in a slight contraction of the involved muscles. These contractions are called intention movements and signal what the sender will do […]

Effects of a light-colored cotton rug use on horse thermoregulation and behavior indicators of stress

When environmental temperatures exceed 25°C, horses are potentially subjected to thermal stress. It has therefore been recommended that horses should be provided with shade during hot days. However, this is not possible for horses grazing on many Australian rural properties. Although the positive effect that solar radiation blocking can have on reducing heat absorption is […]

Reliability of a descriptive reference ethogram for equitation science

An ethogram and its components, correctly defined behavior units, are the fundamental measuring tools for (applied) ethology and, therefore, also for equitation science, the nascent discipline that gathers evidence based on horse training, handling, and riding. However, there is currently no consensus on names and definitions of equine behaviors, and no purely descriptive ethogram for […]

The role of heart rate monitoring to assess workload during maintenance interval training in National Hunt racehorses

Quantitative assessment of racehorse workload and fitness levels can be achieved through heart rate monitoring (HRM), an established reliable indicator of workload. Using HRM can aid trainers in formulating evidence-based training regimes and evaluating individual horses’ progress during training. Despite this, HRM is not used consistently within racehorse training. This study aimed to evaluate how […]

Farm Manager Involvement in an Equine on-farm Welfare Assessment: Opportunities for Education and Improvement

Previous work surveying equine professionals has suggested ignorance to be a primary cause of poor welfare within the industry, highlighting the importance of improving educational opportunities for industry stakeholders. This may be achieved through on-farm assessments designed to evaluate facilities and share resources with farm owners. While used extensively for evaluating production animal facilities, equine […]

The effects of land transport on animal welfare

Animal welfare during and as a result of transport can be assessed by using a range of behavioural, physiological, pathological and carcass-quality indicators that are described in this paper. Measures of the extent of any disease, injury or mortality resulting from, or exacerbated by, transport are important because health is an important part of welfare. […]

The positive aspects of correct negative reinforcement

In the scheme of contemporary animal training, horse training is virtually unique because it relies on negative reinforcement (NR) rather than positive reinforcement (PR). Furthermore, horse trainers are largely unaware that they are using NR in training. Instead, they believe in the benevolent nature of the horse and see their task in training as one […]

A study of cortisol and beta-endorphin levels in stereotypic and normal Thoroughbreds

In recent studies of equine stereotypic behaviour, data on levels of cortisol and beta-endorphin (BE) have been limited and sometimes contradictory. The current research aimed to investigate, in a large number of horses, the relationships between these compounds and equine stereotypic behaviour. Plasma and salivary cortisol levels were measured in stereotypic (n=46) and normal horses […]