Emotional reactions of horses and trainers during natural method training / Reakcje emocjonalne koni i trenerów podczas treningu metodami naturalnymi

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Abstract

The first aim of the present study was to evaluate whether the trainer factor and the sex of the horse affect the heart rate (HR) of the trainer-horse pair. The second aim was to estimate the level of the trainer-horse pair’s emotions and to find the relationship of the HR between the trainer and the horse during the preliminary, natural-method training. The animals used in the study were 40 three-year-old purebred Arabian horses trained by two trainers from the Silversand Horsemanship School. Each trainer worked with 20 randomly selected horses, equally grouped by sex. The study was carried out during the first day of the training cycle. The aim was to have a horse accept a rider. The following items were subject to analysis: deconcentration, concentration, desensitizing, putting on the lungeing surcingle, and saddling. The emotional status of the horses and the trainers was evaluated based on HR variations which were measured by applying Polar S810 telemetric devices. The device produced continuous measurements with readings every 60 seconds. Two-factor analysis of variance and Pearson correlations were determined with the use of SAS software. Significance of differences between mean values was verified using Tukey’s test. The results obtained revealed that the sex of the trained horses was not an important factor in the evaluation of trainer’s emotions, despite the fact that fillies were characterized as having a more uniform HR. The trainer is very responsible for the emotions of a trained horse, especially at the beginning of training and during saddling. From a trainer’s point of view, it is important to complete the horse concentration task as quickly as possible. The lack of an emotional relationship in the trainer-horse pair during some training elements, suggests that it is not only the trainer’s experience, but mainly the trainer’s personality that determines the probable success in naturalmethod work.

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Annals of Animal Science

The Journal of National Research Institute of Animal Production

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