Recent News for Behavior & Handling

Article

Panicky Horse? Vitamin B Might Help

December 01, 2010

Sue McDonnel, PhD, tells us what we can do to decrease the likelihood of a horsey panic attack.... Read More

Article

Safe (Equine) Teasing

December 01, 2010

Teasing is essential to detect when a broodmare is in estrus, but it's no easy feat due to the size and power of the animals involved. Safety should be top priority--to avoid injury to horses and people.... Read More

Article

Dummy Foal Syndrome (Equine Neonatal Maladjustment Syndrome)

December 01, 2010

Foals exhibit abnormal, often vague behaviors and/or neurologic signs during their first few days of life. ... Read More

Article

10 Steps for Successful Live Cover

December 01, 2010

Promote safe and successful live cover breeding with careful preparation and attention to safety.... Read More

Article

Horses' Behavior and Welfare Negatively Impacted by Low-Fiber Diets

November 16, 2010

Despite the fact that horses evolved on a forage-based diet that is high in fiber and low in calories, some horse owners and trainers just can't resist feeding a low-fiber, calorie-dense diet. ... Read More

Article

Study: Horses Prefer Less Rein Tension

November 08, 2010

According to a new study by European equitation scientists, horses might prefer to avoid rein tension rather than just get used to it. And beyond a certain force threshold, rein tension can cause conflict behavior. ... Read More

Article

Study: Shelter-Seeking Behavior Most Common in Poor Weather Conditions

November 06, 2010

Just because turned-out horses might not use run-in sheds often does not mean these structures are not an important part of husbandry, says Camie R. Heleski, MS, PhD, a Michigan State University instructor and researcher. ... Read More

Article

Naughty, Nipping Pony

November 01, 2010

Sue McDonnel, PhD, tells us why ponies bite and how we can put a stop to the painful behavior.... Read More

Article

Causal Relationship Between Cribbing and Colic Examined

October 18, 2010

Scientists have established the link between cribbing (also called windsucking) and colic, but a "causal" relationship between the two remains to be proven say researchers from the University of California, Davis. Colic is an important and often ... Read More

Article

Horses Reconcile, Support Each Other after Conflict

October 14, 2010

After a squabble in the field, horses might "kiss and make up"--at least in their own equine way. But even more often, post-conflict horses are visited by a "peacemaker," probably to preserve the unity of the group, accordin... Read More

Article

New Gelding Trouble

October 01, 2010

Sue McDonnel, PhD, tells us how to deal with a new gelding who won't take orders.... Read More

Article

Behavior Changes in West Nile Virus Survivors

September 20, 2010

I've heard some horses have been reported to have very different personalities after having West Nile. ... Read More

Article

Digital Image Makers Partner with American Humane Association

September 16, 2010

A California company that uses green screen technology to produce digital images of horses and other animals for use in print and film advertisements and other applications has partnered with the American Humane Association, a national organiza... Read More

Article

Kentucky Horse Council Encourages Parade Managers to Follow Protocol for Equine Entries

September 06, 2010

Parades are exciting. Children are delighted at all the sights, sounds, and the opportunity to do something different. Parents are lulled into peaceful reverie by the distraction the winding procession creates for their offspring. Organizers ar... Read More

Article

"Conflict Behavior" Evaluation Varies Among Horse Professionals

September 06, 2010

There's a new term that describes the actions of our horses in response to our unclear cues or handling: "conflict behavior." Horses showing conflict behavior might buck, rear, toss their heads, gape their mouths, or try to escape their handlers, to ... Read More

Article

Genetic Response to Training Found

September 05, 2010

Researchers measured the way muscle genes are switched on and off when a Thoroughbred exercises and found that these genes work together to adapt to exercise training. "As any trainer knows, different muscles respond and adapt t... Read More

Article

Learning to Load

September 01, 2010

At what age is it safe to start introducing a young horse to loading on a trailer? ... Read More

Article

Farm Safety Tips

September 01, 2010

How do you create the safest possible environment for your horses? ... Read More

Article

Multi-Species Grazing: Horses and Cows and Goats, Oh My!

September 01, 2010

A handful of horses graze in a pasture one week; a herd of goats mow down its bushes and weeds the next. This multi-species rotational grazing system has its advantages, but whether they outweigh the disadvantages will depend on your situation... Read More

Article

Foal 'Stealing'

September 01, 2010

Our pregnant mare thinks another mare's colt is hers. Is it common for pregnant mares to adopt others' foals?... Read More

Article

Training: Food Rewards Are More Effective Than Physical Contact

August 30, 2010

Everybody loves a good back scratch, including your horse, right? Scratching of the withers has been scientifically proven to reduce a horse's heart rate, but a good scratch might not be enough to communicate to your horse that you're h... Read More

Article

Seeking Solutions to Separation Anxiety

August 26, 2010

When teaching young horses to accept separation from their pasturemates, it might seem like a good idea to train them in pairs first for a while before training them alone. However, new equitation science research suggests that pairing them up might ... Read More

Article

Bilateral Training Improves Performance, Welfare, Researchers Say

August 17, 2010

Congratulations, your horse has learned a new trick! Now, start all over again--this time on the other side. That's right; it turns out if you want your horse to learn a trick or skill correctly, you're probably going to have... Read More

Article

Study: Rein Tension Varies Between Riders, Affects Horses' Gaits

August 13, 2010

You know what it means to apply light contact with the bit, but have you ever wondered if your interpretation is the same as other riders’? And how strong is "strong contact," exactly? What kinds of effects do these different ha... Read More

Article

Spatial Reasoning and Laterality Affect Riding Horses' Behavior

August 12, 2010

"Can't go over it, can't go under it, have to go around it." No, your horse isn't on a bear hunt; he's on a bucket hunt, trying to reach his food around an experimental barrier. Italian equitation science researchers s... Read More