Horse Behaviour & Psychology

how does a horse show stress, university of guelph equine research, katrina merkies equine guelph

How can you tell when a horse is feeling stressed? It’s all in the eyes and the way their eyelids twitch, University of Guelph researchers have discovered. A horse will blink less and twitch its eyelids more when it’s under mild stress, the research team found – a new finding that could offer handlers a simple, easy-to-spot sign their animal is becoming agitated.

Stallions have often been considered difficult or dangerous, but now it seems that mares are being tarred with the same brush. A study into riders’ perceptions of horse temperament and suitability for ridden work, based on horse sex, found that mares are also seen as “bossy” or “unreliable.” The research, published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE, has found horse riders are applying human gender stereotypes to horses - a form of anthropomorphism - which could lead them to overlook the merits of mares and fillies.

how to tell if a horse has pica, pica in horses, stopping my horse from wood chewing, horse eating mud, horse eating dirt, horse eating tree bark, healthy diet horse

Pica is the desire to eat unusual substances that possess little or no nutritional value, such as dirt, wood, hair, and feces. This phenomenon has been observed in horses of all ages, breeds, and sexes.

how horses see colour, changes to horse jump racing hurdles and fences, Equine Vision Research, human sight vs horse sight

The colours deployed on hurdles and fences on British racecourses may be set to change following research led by the University of Exeter into the way that horses perceive colour. The research, commissioned in 2017 by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) and Racing Foundation, was undertaken by Dr. Sarah Paul and Professor Martin Stevens of the University of Exeter with the aim of improving obstacle visibility for horses, thus reducing the risk of falls and injuries for horses and jockeys.

In last issue’s article, A Foal’s Safe Trip Home, the challenge was to get my colt from Innisfail, Alberta to Abbotsford, BC as safely and stress-free as possible. At the time he didn’t lead and had never been in a trailer, and he was weaned the moment we left the property. Under these circumstances, I was concerned that the experience would be a lot for him to take in.

Jonathan Field, Foal horse trailering, colt horse trailering, foals horse trailers

The goal: To safely transport my newly-purchased five-month-old colt 1,000 kilometres to his new home. Recently, I went to Alberta to pick up my next equine partner – a Quarter Horse weanling raised by my friend, Ida Newell, in Innisfail, Alberta.

Build Your Horse’s Confidence with jonathan field, natural horsemanship, exercises with horses, jonathan field dragging a log, horse confidence

Build Your Horse's Confidence - In the previous article Build Your Horse's Confidence Part 1, I demonstrated how to build confidence around a horse’s personal space bubble by dragging a post with my new seven-year-old Canadian Warmblood named Bellagio, or “Geo.”

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Manitoba Horse Council