The objective of this study was to investigate the ability of horses (Equus caballus) to detour around symmetric and asymmetric obstacles. Ten female Italian saddle horses were each used in three detour tasks. In the first task, the ability to detour around a symmetrical obstacle was evaluated; in the second and third tasks subjects were required to perform a detour around an asymmetrical obstacle with two different degrees of asymmetry. The direction chosen to move around the obstacle and time required to make the detour were recorded. The results suggest that horses have the spatial abilities required to perform detour tasks with both symmetric and asymmetric obstacles. The strategy used to perform the task varied between subjects. For five horses, lateralized behaviour was observed when detouring the obstacle; this was consistently in one direction (three on the left and two on the right). For these horses, no evidence of spatial learning or reasoning was found. The other five horses did not solve this task in a lateralized manner, and a trend towards decreasing lateralization was observed as asymmetry, and hence task difficulty, increased. These non-lateralized horses may have higher spatial reasoning abilities.
|Autori:||Baragli P; Vitale V; Paoletti E; Sighieri C; Reddon AR|
|Titolo:||Detour behaviour in horses (Equus caballus)|
|Anno del prodotto:||2011|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1007/s10164-010-0246-9|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|