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Author (up) Rørvang, M.V.; Ahrendt, L.P.; Christensen, J.W. url  doi
  Title A trained demonstrator has a calming effect on naïve horses when crossing a novel surface Type Journal Article
  Year 2015 Publication Applied Animal Behaviour Science Abbreviated Journal Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci.  
  Volume 171 Issue Pages 117-120  
  Keywords Fear; Habituation; Social learning; Social transmission; Heart rate  
  Abstract Abstract Habituated horses have been found to have a calming effect on conspecifics in fear-eliciting situations. In practice, experienced horses are often used as companions when young horses are introduced to potentially frightening situations, like loading onto a trailer. However, studies of social transmission of habituation in horses are scarce. This study investigated if demonstration by a habituated demonstrator horse influenced the willingness of young Icelandic horses (n = 22, 3 years old) to cross a novel surface. Observer horses (n = 11) were allowed to observe the similarly aged demonstrator horse being led five times across a novel surface. Immediately afterwards the observer horses were given the opportunity to cross the novel surface themselves to obtain food on the other side. Controls (n = 11) were allowed to observe the demonstrator eating on the opposite side of the novel surface but not the demonstration of crossing the novel surface. All observers and controls succeeded the task, but observers had significantly lower average and maximum heart rate, compared to controls. This result suggests a calming effect of the demonstration, which could be exploited for habituation training of horses in fear-eliciting situations.  
  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 5922  
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