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Maurer, Sophie (2008) Hur påverkas beteende/känslor och fysiologiska faktorer på människa och häst vid interaktion mellan parterna? Other thesis, SLU.

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The aim of these two studies was to investigate the possible physiological, behavioural and emotional changes that appear after human-horse interactions and also to find an explanation to why they occur. One aspect that is discussed is whether the wellbeing of humans can be coupled to interacting with horses and of how the animals respond to the interaction. The first study was performed on 9 horses and their owners, both parts being subjects to registrations during 4 different interaction treatments. The second study was performed on 6 horses with registrations only being performed on the horses during 2 different treatments. Nine horses underwent 3 different treatments all performed by their owners (H = stroking of the horses forehead, B = brushing and M = stimulation of the withers) in addition to a control round (K). Each treatment lasted for 4 minutes but observations were performed until after 45 minutes from start. Physiological parameters (blood pressure, heart frequency and skin temperature) and behaviour/emotional status were registered on horses and humans before and after 2 and 4 minutes after the active treatment and 15, 25 and 45 minutes after the active treatment started. Blood samples were collected continuously at the same occasions and were analyzed for plasma concentrations of oxytocin and cortisol. Statistical processing of the data were performed using General Linear Models Procedure and FREQ-Procedure in Statistical Analysis System (SAS). The horse owners felt significantly happier after M and less sad after H compared to before the treatments. B generated the strongest feeling of affinity towards the horse and in that matter B differed significantly from K. Before K the owners felt more tired than before H and M and they also felt less needed than before H and B. All treatments significantly lowered the mean heart frequency of the humans and after 15 minutes H had also lowered their systolic blood pressure. After 25 minutes B had lowered the diastolic pressure of the humans and after 45 minutes their skin temperature had increased. Skin temperature was significantly lower during K than during H after 2 minutes. Before the treatments started the initial skin temperature was lower for B than for H. Cortisol concentrations decreased after 15 and 25 minutes within K. The horses rested more hind legs, yawned and scraped their front legs more frequently during K than during H, M and B. After 2 minutes the mean heart rate of the horses was higher during B than during H. Within H the mean heart rate had risen after 15 minutes. The horses' systolic blood pressure was lower during H than M after 2 minutes and also lower than B after 25 minutes. H, M and K had all increased the mean skin temperature towards 45 minutes but after 25 minutes the skin temperature during M was lower than during H. Oxytocin concentrations were higher during K after 45 minutes than during B, H and M and the concentration during H was also higher than during M after 45 minutes. In the second study, the horses had a significantly higher neck position during H than during B. During B the mean heart rate was higher after 25 minutes than during H. Within B the skin temperature was significantly lower after 4 minutes. In summary, the first study indicates that interactions between horses and humans affect physiological parameters and behaviour/emotions in both the animal and the human. It also proves that different treatments alter physiological parameters differently. The second study fortifies the theory that stroking the horses head can give opposite physiological responds than does brushing, but the theory was only applicable regarding heart rate.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Keywords: hästar, interaktion, beteende, fysiologiska parametrar, känslor
Subject (faculty): Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science > Centre for Sustainable Agriculture
Divisions: SLU > Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science
Depositing User: Sophie Maurer
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2008
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2015 10:07
URI: http://ex-epsilon.slu.se/id/eprint/2764

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