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Author (up) Becker-Birck, M.; Schmidt, A.; Wulf, M.; Aurich, J.; von der Wense, A.; Möstl, E.; Berz, R.; Aurich, C. url  doi
  Title Cortisol release, heart rate and heart rate variability, and superficial body temperature, in horses lunged either with hyperflexion of the neck or with an extended head and neck position Type Journal Article
  Year 2013 Publication Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition Abbreviated Journal  
  Volume 97 Issue 2 Pages 322-330  
  Keywords animal welfare; equitation; stress; training  
  Abstract Bringing the head and neck of ridden horses into a position of hyperflexion is widely used in equestrian sports. In our study, the hypothesis was tested that hyperflexion is an acute stressor for horses. Salivary cortisol concentrations, heart rate, heart rate variability (HRV) and superficial body temperature were determined in horses (n = 16) lunged on two subsequent days. The head and neck of the horse was fixed with side reins in a position allowing forward extension on day A and fixed in hyperflexion on day B. The order of treatments alternated between horses. In response to lunging, cortisol concentration increased (day A from 0.73 ± 0.06 to 1.41 ± 0.13 ng/ml, p < 0.001; day B from 0.68 ± 0.07 to 1.38 ± 0.13 ng/ml, p < 0.001) but did not differ between days A and B. Beat-to-beat (RR) interval decreased in response to lunging on both days. HRV variables standard deviation of RR interval (SDRR) and RMSSD (root mean square of successive RR differences) decreased (p < 0.001) but did not differ between days. In the cranial region of the neck, the difference between maximum and minimum temperature was increased in hyperflexion (p < 0.01). In conclusion, physiological parameters do not indicate an acute stress response to hyperflexion of the head alone in horses lunged at moderate speed and not touched with the whip. However, if hyperflexion is combined with active intervention of a rider, a stressful experience for the horse cannot be excluded.  
  Corporate Author Thesis  
  Publisher Blackwell Publishing Ltd Place of Publication Editor  
  Language Summary Language Original Title  
  Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title  
  Series Volume Series Issue Edition  
  ISSN 1439-0396 ISBN Medium  
  Area Expedition Conference  
  Notes Approved no  
  Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Serial 6182  
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