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Author (up) Whishaw, I.Q. url  doi
openurl 
  Title Absence of population asymmetry in the American Quarter Horse (Equus ferus caballus) performing skilled left and right manoeuvres in reining competition Type Journal Article
  Year 2015 Publication Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition Abbreviated Journal Laterality  
  Volume 20 Issue 5 Pages 604-617  
  Keywords  
  Abstract Use of the right hand by humans for speech-related hand gestures, writing and throwing exemplifies motoric asymmetry. There are reports of asymmetry in many other animal species, including reports of left preference in emotional responsivity, spontaneous behaviour and the trained performance of the horse, Equus ferus caballus. The present study used the novel approach of using judges' scores to examine asymmetry in an equestrian event. The study analysed the scores of five judges evaluating the reining performance of 482, three-year-old American Quarter Horses competing in a major competition. Reining requires that the horses perform the manoeuvres of spin, circle and stop directed to either the left or right and symmetrical performance is featured in the judging criteria. The scores were sensitive to performance level, sex and manoeuvre, but there was no evidence of a population asymmetry in the left vs. right direction of the manoeuvres. The results are discussed in relation to need of using a large number of subjects in measuring asymmetry, the expression of individual vs. population asymmetry as a function of morphological and behavioural measures, and the influence of behavioural training on asymmetry.  
  Address  
  Corporate Author Thesis  
  Publisher Routledge Place of Publication Editor  
  Language Summary Language Original Title  
  Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title  
  Series Volume Series Issue Edition  
  ISSN 1357-650x ISBN Medium  
  Area Expedition Conference  
  Notes doi: 10.1080/1357650X.2015.1023732 Approved no  
  Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Serial 5923  
Permanent link to this record
 

 
Author (up) Winwright, D.; Elston, H.; Hall, C. pdf  openurl
  Title The impact of paddock design on the behaviour of the domestic horse (Equus caballus) Type Conference Article
  Year 2015 Publication Proceedings of the 3. International Equine Science Meeting Abbreviated Journal Proc. 3. Int. Equine. Sci. Mtg  
  Volume Issue Pages  
  Keywords Horses, social behaviour, management, housing, paddock  
  Abstract The design of a captive environment should facilitate the expression of the natural behavioural repertoire of the species concerned. The domestic horse (Equus caballus) is a social, herd dwelling species that is often housed in isolation from con-specifics or kept in groups in paddock enclosures. Although the latter allows for social interaction and does not restrict movement per se, it may not promote natural activity patterns or group cohesion. The aim of the current study was to assess the impact of two different paddock designs on the behaviour of a stable group of horses (n=6: 2 mares, 4 geldings).

The paddock designs tested were adjacent and grassed similarly, but configured differently. A central paddock (75 x 75m) designated NT, was surrounded by a track 1.6-5.5m wide, designated T. The horses were turned out in their group into T or NT for 3 consecutive days. Their behaviour was recorded for one hour three times each day (10.00, 13.00, 16.00 hrs). Within each observation period of one hour focal sampling was used, each individual horse being observed for a 10 minute period. They were then moved to the other enclosure type for a further 3 consecutive days, followed by a repeat of each condition. When turned out the horses were fitted with a global positioning system device (Garmin Forerunner 305) to monitor distance travelled and speed for the period 10.00-17.00 hrs. The mean percentage of time spent in each behavioural state (standing alert, standing resting, walk/trot, grazing, lying, social interaction) during the periods observed was calculated. Behaviour during social interactions was classified as either affiliative (approach, follow, friendly contacts, mutual grooming) or agonistic (approach and retreat, bite, chase, head threat).

The horses travelled significantly further in T than in NT (paired samples t-test: t (5) = 11.74, p<0.001) and moved significantly faster (Wilcoxon signed rank test: z = -2.21, p=0.03). See Table 1. When the percentage of time spent in each behavioural state in T and NT was compared some significant differences were found. A significantly higher percentage of time was spent active (walking /trotting) in T than in NT (paired samples t-test: t (5) = 5.74, p=0.002). Standing alert was only recorded in T (paired samples t-test: t (5) = 3.48, p=0.02). A significantly higher percentage of time was spent grazing in NT than in T (paired samples t-test: t (5) = -3.58, p=0.016). Significantly more social interaction occurred in T than in NT (paired samples t-test: t (5) = 5.93, p=0.002). See Figure 1. In T, 91% of social interactions were affiliative and 9% agonistic, whereas in NT 29% were affiliative and 71% agonistic. No difference was found in the percentage of time spent standing resting or lying down in T and NT.

The benefits of housing horses in groups as opposed to individually have been demonstrated in previous studies. In addition to better satisfying the behavioural needs of the horse it has been found that group housed horses adapt more easily to training and display less undesirable behaviour than those housed individually (Rivera et al. 2002; Søndergaard and Ladewig 2004; Visser et al. 2008). However, individual housing is frequently selected by horse owners in preference to group housing to avoid the risk of injury during agonistic encounters. Fureix et al. (2012) suggest that management practices may well contribute to aggressiveness in horses and that the conditions under which we keep horses should be reviewed. The findings of the present study indicate that the design of the enclosure in which groups of horses are kept affects the nature of social interactions. The T paddock design resulted in reduced intra-group aggression. However, this paddock design also reduced the time spent grazing and increased vigilant behaviour. Although the results demonstrate that a paddock system including tracks may facilitate group cohesion and more natural movement patterns, the long-term impact on behaviour and welfare requires further investigation.

References:

Fureix C, Bourjade M, Henry S, Sankey C, Hausberger M. (2012). Exploring aggression regulation in managed groups of horses (Equus caballus). Applied Animal Behaviour Science 138: 216-228.

Rivera E, Benjamin S, Nielsen B, Shelle J, Zanella AJ. (2002). Behavioural and physiological response of horses to initial training: the comparison between pastured versus stalled horses. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 78: 235–252.

Søndergaard E, Ladewig J. (2004). Group housing exerts a positive effect on the behaviour of young horses during training. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 87: 105-118.
 
  Address  
  Corporate Author Hall, C. Thesis  
  Publisher Xenophon Publishing Place of Publication Wald Editor ; Krueger, K.  
  Language Summary Language Original Title  
  Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title  
  Series Volume Series Issue Edition  
  ISSN 978-3-95625-000-2 ISBN Medium  
  Area Expedition Conference  
  Notes Id - Approved no  
  Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Serial 5895  
Permanent link to this record
 

 
Author (up) Wolter, R.; Krueger, K. isbn  openurl
  Title Einflussfaktoren auf das Grooming-Verhalten bei wilden und verwilderten Pferden [Influencing factors on grooming behaviour in wild living horses] Type Book Chapter
  Year 2015 Publication Current research in applied ethology [Aktuelle Arbeiten zur artgemäßen Tierhaltung] KTBL Schrift 510 Abbreviated Journal KTBL Schrift 510  
  Volume Issue Pages  
  Keywords  
  Abstract Die soziale Fellpflege wurde bei Equiden intensiv erforscht. Es stellte sich heraus, dass diverse Faktoren das Grooming-Verhalten beeinflussen können. Neben saisonalen Gegebenheiten sind dies vor allem soziale Faktoren, wie das Alter und Geschlecht der Tiere, die Hierarchie und Gruppenzusammensetzung sowie die Verwandtschaftsverhältnisse der Tiere untereinander. Diese Faktoren können sowohl bei der Häufigkeit der sozialen Fellpflege, als auch bei der Wahl des Partners eine entscheidende Rolle spielen. Zudem konnte gezeigt werden, dass auch das Aggressivitätslevel in einer Gruppe Einfluss auf das soziale Verhalten und die soziale Fellpflege nehmen kann. Inwiefern zwei Individuen, die sich häufig groomen, auch bevorzugt beieinander stehen, konnte bislang noch nicht eindeutig gezeigt werden, da es hierzu diverse Studien mit konträren Ergebnisse gibt. Dieser Aspekt sollte zukünftig dringend untersucht werden, da die beiden Datensätze häufig gemeinsam verwendet werden, um soziale Bindungen zu berechnen, ohne dass bislang ein eindeutiger Zusammenhang zwischen ihnen ermittelt werden konnte.

[Summary

Social grooming has been investigated intensively in Equids during the last years and several factors are known to influence the grooming behaviour. Beside seasonal conditions these are especially social factors as age and sex, hierarchy and group composition as well as kinship. These factors can affect the grooming frequencies and influence the choice of the grooming partner. Moreover, it could be demonstrated that the groups’

aggression level can influence the social behaviour and the grooming intensity. If individuals which show an increased grooming frequency often stand in close proximity as well, has not been affirmed, as, so far, no distinct correlation has been demonstrated. This aspect has to be investigated urgently, as both data sets are often used in combination for calculating social bonds.]
 
  Address  
  Corporate Author Thesis  
  Publisher KTBL-Schrift 510 Place of Publication Darmstadt Editor  
  Language Summary Language Original Title  
  Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title  
  Series Volume Series Issue Edition  
  ISSN ISBN 978-3-945088-13-5 Medium  
  Area Expedition Conference  
  Notes Approved no  
  Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Serial 5928  
Permanent link to this record
 

 
Author (up) Wolter, R.; Krueger, K. pdf  isbn
openurl 
  Title The analysis of social bonds in feral horses Type Conference Article
  Year 2015 Publication Proceedings of the 3. International Equine Science Meeting Abbreviated Journal Proc. 3. Int. Equine. Sci. Mtg  
  Volume Issue Pages  
  Keywords social bonds, grooming, nearest neighborhood, rank  
  Abstract In many social mammals, individuals preferentially affiliate with a small subset of available partners instead of distributing their social behaviors equally among all group members. The resulting social bonds have been investigated in several mammalian taxa, especially in primate societies, but also in other taxa such as birds, dolphins, rodents and ungulates. In feral horses, a great number of studies on social bonds can be found, but with a huge variety between methods for the analysis. There seems to be a lack of a clear and common definition of social bonds in horses and of comparable analyses. For example, there are irregularities between the studies regarding the research designs, the selection of recording methods and the interpretation of the measurements. Mutual grooming is used most often for the analysis of social relationships in many species. As mutual grooming is rare in horses, especially measurements of spatial proximity are commonly used for the analysis of social bonds in addition to other behavioral patterns. However, the combination of mutual grooming and nearest neighborhood analyses for the analysis of social bond is debatable, as in contrast to mutual grooming, which must occur deliberately by both grooming partners, the spatial distribution can be influenced by one partner alone, which may even force the other horse to keep a certain distance or to stay in close proximity.

In this study, we investigated the comparability of mutual grooming and nearest neighborhood data for social bond analyses in feral horses. Therefore, we observed five groups of semi-wild living Przewalski’s horses and six groups of feral horses.

We analysed the horses’ social ranks by applying an Average Dominance Index, we recorded the distances between the animals and observed the number of mutual grooming events as well as friendly approaches.

Our results show that there was only a weak correlation between the frequency of staying in nearest neighborhood and mutual grooming in all observed horse groups. In contrast to this, the correlation between the number of friendly approaches and mutual grooming events was higher in most groups.

Hierarchies did not affect social bonds, as mutual grooming was similarly induced by higher and lower ranking animals and the social rank did not affect the choice of the grooming partner. Similarly, likelihoods of staying in the neighborhood of particular animals were not affected by the animals’ social rank.

The grooming frequencies differed between the different horse groups and between the individual horses living in the particular groups. They seem to be effected by individual predisposition.

Altogether we suggest that the ratio of mutual grooming seems to be a better indicator for social bonds in feral horses than the frequency of staying in the nearest neighborhood. Mutual grooming occurs deliberately and is bidirectional, whereas nearest neighborhoods could be enforced and unidirectional. For the calculation of social bonds in horses, we consider it to be more reliable to combine the frequency of mutual grooming with the frequency of friendly approaches.
 
  Address  
  Corporate Author Wolter, R. Thesis  
  Publisher Place of Publication Editor  
  Language Summary Language Original Title  
  Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title  
  Series Volume Series Issue Edition  
  ISSN ISBN 978-3-95625-000-2 Medium  
  Area Expedition Conference  
  Notes Approved no  
  Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Serial 5882  
Permanent link to this record
 

 
Author (up) Wyss, C. pdf  openurl
  Title Does housing in a „social box“ change faecal cortisol metabolites concentration in stallions? Type Conference Article
  Year 2015 Publication Proceedings of the 3. International Equine Science Meeting Abbreviated Journal Proc. 3. Int. Equine. Sci. Mtg  
  Volume Issue Pages  
  Keywords housing system, stallions, social interaction, stress, faecal cortisol metabolites  
  Abstract In order to improve the housing conditions of stallions in individual boxes by offering a possibility to have more social contact, the Swiss national stud farm tested a new box system for horses, allowing increased physical contact with the neighbouring stallion. The aim of this part of the study was to investigate whether this type of housing system (named “social box”) potentially induces a change in stress reactions in stallions compared to conventional boxes. Therefore faecal cortisol metabolite (FCM) concentration was measured as a non-invasive parameter to assess endocrine responses related to this new environment.

Four groups each consisting of eight adult Freiberger breeding stallions were included in the test design. Every stallion spent three weeks in a conventional box and in a social box respectively (cross-over design). The conventional box consisted of a separation wall with a lower opaque part and an upper part with vertical barriers (5 cm between barriers), allowing visual and olfactory contact but strongly limiting tactile contact. The separating wall of the social box consisted of two lateral sections, one part being opaque to the ceiling and the second part consisting of vertical barriers (30 cm between barriers), allowing the horse to have physical contact with its neighbour or to avoid it.

In horses, FCM concentration reflects an average level of circulating cortisol over a period of approximatively 24h. Faecal samples were collected the day following integration in social / conventional boxes, reflecting the potential stress induced by increased social interactions during the integration. In order to asses potential chronical stress, faeces samples were also collected in week one, two and three after the integration into the social / conventional box (in total: 4 samples per horse and housing system). The samples were immediately stored at -20°C until they were analysed. The samples were not analysed in the laboratory until the end of the experiment, therefore the duration of conservation in the freezer varied from 40 to 429 days.

A considerable percentage of data from groups 1 and 2 was below the detection limit (<0.8 ng/g) (Tab. 1). Thus the statistical analysis was conducted with the FCM concentration from groups 3 and 4 (n horses = 16) which contained no values below the detection limit.

Tab. 1: Details about FCM values and storage time for the 4 groups of stallions

Group Storage duration [d] Proportion of data below the detection limit (<0.8 ng/g) Mean [ng/g] Median [ng/g]

Group 1 384-429 55.6 % 2.2 0

Group 2 315-360 25.5 % 5.8 6.3

Group 3 41-79 0.0 % 8.7 8.0

Group 4 40-85 0.0 % 5.8 5.4

Despite the impressive social interactions observed between the stallions directly after being introduced into the social boxes, we did not find any differences in FCM concentration between the stallions being introduced into the conventional box and the social box on the day of integration (social box: n samples = 16, mean±SD: 6.9±4.7 ng/g; conventional box: n samples = 16, mean±SD: 9.0±11.2 ng/g; Wilcoxon signed rank test V = 70, p = 0.94).

Overall the samples taken during integration and in week one, two and three did not show evidence of changes in FCM concentration in either housing system over a longer period of time (social box: n samples = 64, mean±SD: 7.9±6.2 ng/g; conventional box: n samples = 64, mean±SD: 6.6±3.4 ng/g; Linear mixed model (LMM), p = 0.56).

Our results suggest that the possibility of having physical contact with a conspecific does not induce changes in FCM concentration in breeding stallions. The considerable percentage of values below the detection limit in groups 1 and 2 seemed to correlate with the increasing duration of storage before analysis. During the IESM Network Meeting 2015, we would like to discuss possible methodological issues and the possibilities to correctly integrate these low values in the statistical analysis.
 
  Address  
  Corporate Author Wyss, C. Thesis  
  Publisher Place of Publication Editor  
  Language Summary Language Original Title  
  Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title  
  Series Volume Series Issue Edition  
  ISSN ISBN Medium  
  Area Expedition Conference  
  Notes Approved no  
  Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Serial 5869  
Permanent link to this record
 

 
Author (up) Yarnell, K.; Hall, C.; Royle, C.; Walker, S.L. url  doi
openurl 
  Title Domesticated horses differ in their behavioural and physiological responses to isolated and group housing Type Journal Article
  Year 2015 Publication Physiology & Behavior Abbreviated Journal Physiol.Behav.  
  Volume 143 Issue Pages 51-57  
  Keywords Equine; Behaviour; Corticosterone; Housing  
  Abstract Abstract The predominant housing system used for domestic horses is individual stabling; however, housing that limits social interaction and requires the horse to live in semi-isolation has been reported to be a concern for equine welfare. The aim of the current study was to compare behavioural and physiological responses of domestic horses in different types of housing design that provided varying levels of social contact. Horses (n = 16) were divided equally into four groups and exposed to each of four housing treatments for a period of five days per treatment in a randomized block design. The four housing treatments used were single housed no physical contact (SHNC), single housed semi-contact (SHSC), paired housed full contact (PHFC) and group housed full contact (GHFC). During each housing treatment, adrenal activity was recorded using non-invasive faecal corticosterone metabolite analysis (fGC). Thermal images of the eye were captured and eye temperature was assessed as a non-invasive measure of the stress response. Behavioural analysis of time budget was carried out and an ease of handling score was assigned to each horse in each treatment using video footage. SHNC horses had significantly higher (p = 0.01) concentrations of fGC and were significantly (p = 0.003) more difficult to handle compared to the other housing types. GHFC horses, although not significantly different, had numerically lower concentrations of fGC and were more compliant to handling when compared to all other housing treatments. Eye temperature was significantly (p = 0.0001) lower in the group housed treatment when compared to all other treatments. These results indicate that based on physiological and behavioural measures incorporating social contact into the housing design of domestic horses could improve the standard of domestic equine welfare.  
  Address  
  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 0031-9384 ISBN Medium  
  Area Expedition Conference  
  Notes Approved no  
  Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Serial 5920  
Permanent link to this record
 

 
Author (up) Zhang, Y.; Cao, Q.S.; Rubenstein, D.I.; Zang, S.; Songer, M.; Leimgruber, P.; Chu, H.; Cao, J.; Li, K.; Hu, D. url  doi
openurl 
  Title Water Use Patterns of Sympatric Przewalski's Horse and Khulan: Interspecific Comparison Reveals Niche Differences Type Journal Article
  Year 2015 Publication Plos One Abbreviated Journal Plos One  
  Volume 10 Issue 7 Pages e0132094  
  Keywords  
  Abstract Acquiring water is essential for all animals, but doing so is most challenging for desert-living animals. Recently Przewalski's horse has been reintroduced to the desert area in China where the last wild surviving member of the species was seen before it vanished from China in the1960s. Its reintroduction placed it within the range of a close evolutionary relative, the con-generic Khulan. Determining whether or not these two species experience competition and whether or not such competition was responsible for the extinction of Przewalski's horses in the wild over 50 years ago, requires identifying the fundamental and realized niches of both species. We remotely monitored the presence of both species at a variety of water points during the dry season in Kalamaili Nature Reserve, Xinjiang, China. Przewalski's horses drank twice per day mostly during daylight hours at low salinity water sources while Khulans drank mostly at night usually at high salinity water points or those far from human residences. Spatial and temporal differences in water use enables coexistence, but suggest that Przewalski's horses also restrict the actions of Khulan. Such differences in both the fundamental and realized niches were associated with differences in physiological tolerances for saline water and human activity as well as differences in aggression and dominance.  
  Address  
  Corporate Author Thesis  
  Publisher Public Library of Science Place of Publication Editor  
  Language Summary Language Original Title  
  Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title  
  Series Volume Series Issue Edition  
  ISSN ISBN Medium  
  Area Expedition Conference  
  Notes Approved no  
  Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Serial 6377  
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