We hypothesized that in an open environment, horses cope with a series of challenges in their interactions with human beings. If the horse is not physically constrained and is free to move in a small enclosure, it has additional options regarding its behavioral response to the trainer. The aim of our study was to evaluate the influence of 2 different training strategies on the horse's behavioral response to human stimuli. In all, 12 female ponies were randomly divided into the following 2 groups: group A, wherein horses were trained in a small enclosure (where indicators of the level of attention and behavioral response were used to modulate the training pace and the horse's control over its response to the stimuli provided by the trainer) and group B, wherein horses were trained in a closed environment (in which the trainer's actions left no room for any behavioral response except for the one that was requested). Horses' behavior toward the human subject and their heart rate during 2 standardized behavioral tests were used to compare the responses of the 2 groups. Results indicated that the horses in group A appeared to associate human actions with a positive experience, as highlighted by the greater degree of explorative behavior toward human beings shown by these horses during the tests. The experience of the horses during training may have resulted in different evaluations of the person, as a consequence of the human's actions during training; therefore, it seems that horses evaluate human beings on daily relationship experiences. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
|Autori:||Baragli P; Mariti C; Petri L; De Giorgio F; Sighieri C|
|Titolo:||Does attention make the difference? Horses' response to human stimulus after 2 different training strategies|
|Anno del prodotto:||2011|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1016/j.jveb.2010.08.020|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|