July 26, 2022 – EDUCATIONAL TOOLS
Can teaching horse owners to better recognize different emotional states (affective states) in horses lead to improved welfare? Researchers are testing an online training tool to help horse owners recognize and interpret horse behavior, emotions and body language that may be indicative of health or welfare issues in their animals.
Researchers suspect some behavior issues in horses are due to disruptions in natural grazing behavior. Researchers are evaluating three roughage feeding systems. New information will inform feeding management strategies to reduce abnormal behaviors in horses kept in dry lots.
MARE STRESS AT WEANING
While studies show artificial weaning can be stressful for foals, little is known about how artificial weaning affects mares. Researchers are studying how mare life-history factors, including age and number of previous foals, as well as mare level of attachment to her own foal, affect stress-related behaviors at weaning.
Little is known about how variations in lighting interfere with sleep-wake cycles of stabled horses. Does lighting impact their sleep quality and, in turn, their overall health and behavior? Researchers are studying the effect of different types of indoor lighting on the behavior and wellbeing of stabled horses.
BEHAVIOR STUDIES 2022 EQUINE HUMAN-HORSE INTERACTIONS
Studies show people react favorably to petting and interacting with animals, including horses. But what do we know about the horse’s point of view? Researchers are measuring stress in horses involved in human interactions, specifically to inform best practice guidelines for therapy horses. Their hope is to find ways to alleviate stress and improve the experience for the horse and the therapy patient.