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A brief note on some possible factors involved in the reactions of horses to humans

Martine Hausberger 1 Christine Müller
1 EVE - Ethologie, éVolution, Ecologie
EthoS - Ethologie animale et humaine
Abstract : In order to investigate relationships of adult horses to humans, we developed a simple evaluation test and scores based on observations, The first reactions of 224 adult horses to the presence of an experimenter were observed and scored. All these horses belonged to the same riding school, had the same general housing conditions and were all geldings. The evaluation was based on the horse's posture. Individual differences that could be related to some extent to the breed but also to human factors emerged clearly. French saddlebreds showed more often friendly behaviour than Angloarabs, whereas thoroughbreds were more indifferent. Clear variations occurred between groups of horses that depended on different caretakers. In this school, one caretaker is responsible for the whole daily management of a group of horses and is probably a very important factor in their well-being. The effects of this daily relation to a human seemed to be involved in the reactions to a strange person. Further studies are required to investigate what, in practice, may be determinant.
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Submitted on : Friday, May 20, 2016 - 2:04:10 PM
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Martine Hausberger, Christine Müller. A brief note on some possible factors involved in the reactions of horses to humans. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Elsevier, 2002, 76 (4), pp.339-344. ⟨10.1016/S0168-1591(02)00016-3⟩. ⟨hal-01319157⟩



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