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Sundqvist, Lotta (2006) Does social activity and management routines affect the horses interest for humans? Other thesis, SLU.

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Abstract

This work focuses on the relation between human and animals and especially on the relation between horses and human. I have brought up the human och horse relationsship, today, and in history and wrote about the behaviour of the horse. Some older studies with human and animal interaction, including animals like dog and cattle are discussed. I have also discussed physiological parameters that might influence the bond and the interaction between human and horse and some critical aspects concerning the methodology when studying this kind of physiology. The purpose of the experimental study was to analyze if common management routines and grooming of horses increases horses interest in making contact with humans. Many horse owners feel that they have a good connection with their horse and factors that can influence the relationsship could be physical contact, feeding or some challange that make the horse trust the human. To study this we made an experiment with eight horses from the same herd. Four people performed four management routines (A-D) with the horses during seven days in a ten days period. The management routines were, A) challange by leading the horse over a black carpet, B) feeding the horse, C) brushing and D) grooming the horse. At day 11, one horse at the time was subjected to a test in an open area (paddock) for 10 min where they could choose which of the four persons, or a control person, they liked to interact with. The horses' behaviour were noted during the whole study. Almost all horses seemed to show some adaptation to the treatments A, C and D during day 1-10. By day 10 all horses except for one, accepted to cross the black carpet with no or only minor reactions. Some individuals seemed to like (n=4 horses) and some to dislike (n=4 horses) being brushed and groomed and in the latter cases the negative reactions increased over time. When the horses were able to choose between the persons involved in the experiment they did not show any behaviour that indicated that they preferred a particular person. The reason for this can be many. It could be due to experimental reasons or simly that the horses did not have any interest in interacting with humans. Analysis of the time spent in four different areas (A-D) in the paddock showed that the horses spent significantly more time in area D than in area C. The reason for this could be that area D was closest to the exit. The results show that neither grooming nor the management routines performed in the present study positively affected the horses´ interest in humans in the test situation.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Keywords: interaktion mellan häst och människa, relation, beteende,fysiologi
Subject (faculty): Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science > Centre for Sustainable Agriculture
Divisions: SLU > Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science
Depositing User: Lotta Sundqvist
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2006
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2015 09:39
URI: http://ex-epsilon.slu.se/id/eprint/917

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