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Author (up) Nagy, K.; Bodó, G.; Bárdos, G.; Bánszky, N.; Kabai, P. url  doi
  Title Differences in temperament traits between crib-biting and control horses Type Journal Article
  Year 2010 Publication Applied Animal Behaviour Science Abbreviated Journal Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci.  
  Volume 122 Issue 1 Pages 41-47  
  Keywords Crib-biting; Stereotypic behaviour; Equine temperament; Trainability; Coping strategies  
  Abstract Recent studies have suggested that crib-biting in horses is associated with diminished capacity of learning or coping with stress. Such findings raise the question whether trainability, which is fundamentally important in practice, could also be affected by stereotypic behaviour. Trainability of a horse is difficult to assess in simple tests, however, it is reliably estimated by experienced riders. To assess trainability and other characteristics related to that, a questionnaire survey was conducted with the owners of 50 crib-biting and 50 control horses. Where possible, control horses were selected from the same establishment as crib-biters. Groups did not differ significantly regarding age, breed, gender, training level or usage. Principal component analysis revealed three main factors which can be labelled as [`]Anxiety', [`]Affability' and [`]Trainability'. The [`]Anxiety' factor consisted of the items [`]Nervousness', [`]Excitability', [`]Panic', [`]Inconsistent emotionality', [`]Vigilance', [`]Skittishness', and [`]Timidity'. [`]Affability' consisted of [`]Friendliness toward people', [`]Cooperation', [`]Docility' and [`]Friendliness toward horses'. [`]Trainability' involved [`]Concentration', [`]Trainability', [`]Memory', and [`]Perseverance'. Temperament traits were not affected by age, gender, breed or training level, but the usage of the horse and the presence of crib-biting behaviour had significant effects. Competition horses had lower level of [`]Anxiety' (p = 0.032) and higher level of [`]Trainability' (p = 0.068) than leisure horses. Crib-biting horses had significantly lower level of [`]Anxiety' than control horses (p < 0.001), while [`]Trainability' and [`]Affability' did not differ between groups (p = 0.823 and p = 0.543, respectively). Competition horses are more often exposed to novel environment and to frightening stimuli (e.g. colourful obstacles) than leisure horses and therefore might have also become more habituated to these types of stimuli. Coping with novel situation may be enhanced by defusing nervous behaviour by the more experienced riders of competition. Previous studies indicated crib-biting horses to be less reactive when challenged as compared to control horses. We suggest that the virtual calmness and lower nervousness of the crib-biting horses might be due to the passive coping style of these animals. [`]Affability' of horses might be more related to housing and management conditions than to crib-biting. Contrary to expectations, scores on [`]Trainability' had not coincided with the impaired learning of crib-biting horses reported in laboratory tests. However, previous behavioural tests on equine learning rarely had a direct relevance to the training abilities of the horses. Our results do not support crib-biting stereotypy to affect performance in training, which is a complex learning process involving cooperation and docility in the social environment.  
  Corporate Author Thesis  
  Publisher Place of Publication Editor  
  Language Summary Language Original Title  
  Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title  
  Series Volume Series Issue Edition  
  ISSN 0168-1591 ISBN Medium  
  Area Expedition Conference  
  Notes Approved no  
  Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Serial 5078  
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