Three different training methods were used to halter 12 unhandled horses. Some behaviours and work times were assessed. 8 Italian draught horse and 4 mustangs were used and divided in 3 groups: A(4), B(4) and C(4). A followed a negative reinforcement protocol (Monty Roberts’ method): horses were left free to choose between approaching the trainer to avoid the negative stimuli (cantering far from the trainer) and stepping back from him. B followed a mix of coercion and positive reinforcement method (traditional): horses were forced to accept the trainer’s requests and then rewarded with food; any attempt to escape was hampered. C followed a negative reinforcement protocol (Jeffery’s method): horses were on the rope and whenever they would come closer to the trainer, the rope wasn’t pulled anymore, and attempts to escape were partially hampered. Two trainers were employed for each method to minimize individual influences. Total work time (hours) to halter the horses was assessed, as well as some behaviours observed during this work: escape (or attempt) from the trainer’s request, attention, investigation, defecation and aggressive behaviours towards the trainer. Behaviours of A and B were recorded on the field, while for C video analysis was used (Observer®). Two experienced individuals proceeded with the observations. Mann-Whitney test (P<0.06) was used to analyse behaviours, while variance analysis (P<0.05) was used for the work times. Results show as letting the horses more possibilities of choice (A vs. B and partially C vs. B) haltering time, investigation and attention activities statistically increase, while aggressive behaviours towards the trainer and escape statistically decrease. Those preliminary data indicate a sign of a greater willingness to investigate and pay attention by the horses of A and, in part, of C. Moreover, work with group A would have to be less dangerous for the trainer.

Assessment of the Behaviour and Haltering Work Time in Young Unhandled Horses: Influence of Three Different Training Methods

BARAGLI, PAOLO;MARITI, CHIARA;SIGHIERI, CLAUDIO
2006

Abstract

Three different training methods were used to halter 12 unhandled horses. Some behaviours and work times were assessed. 8 Italian draught horse and 4 mustangs were used and divided in 3 groups: A(4), B(4) and C(4). A followed a negative reinforcement protocol (Monty Roberts’ method): horses were left free to choose between approaching the trainer to avoid the negative stimuli (cantering far from the trainer) and stepping back from him. B followed a mix of coercion and positive reinforcement method (traditional): horses were forced to accept the trainer’s requests and then rewarded with food; any attempt to escape was hampered. C followed a negative reinforcement protocol (Jeffery’s method): horses were on the rope and whenever they would come closer to the trainer, the rope wasn’t pulled anymore, and attempts to escape were partially hampered. Two trainers were employed for each method to minimize individual influences. Total work time (hours) to halter the horses was assessed, as well as some behaviours observed during this work: escape (or attempt) from the trainer’s request, attention, investigation, defecation and aggressive behaviours towards the trainer. Behaviours of A and B were recorded on the field, while for C video analysis was used (Observer®). Two experienced individuals proceeded with the observations. Mann-Whitney test (P<0.06) was used to analyse behaviours, while variance analysis (P<0.05) was used for the work times. Results show as letting the horses more possibilities of choice (A vs. B and partially C vs. B) haltering time, investigation and attention activities statistically increase, while aggressive behaviours towards the trainer and escape statistically decrease. Those preliminary data indicate a sign of a greater willingness to investigate and pay attention by the horses of A and, in part, of C. Moreover, work with group A would have to be less dangerous for the trainer.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/203499
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