Equine Behavior

  1. What is the scientific name for a horse?
    equus caballus
  2. Which horse is the only wild horse left?
    Przewalsky horse
  3. Other than horses, what else is in the equidae family?
    • donkeys
    • zebras
  4. Are horses social animals?
  5. Are horses herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?
  6. Are horses territorial?  Why?
    no, they are constantly moving
  7. Do horses have problems in captivity?  If so, what is it due to?
    • yes
    • due to management of the animals
  8. Horses are large and powerful, how can this be a problem?
    they can cause serious injury
  9. Horses are raised and housed differently from small animals, why?
    because most of the time the horse is boarded at a facility and not at the owners house therefore the horse does not get as much interaction with the owner as most small animals
  10. Do horses usually have more than one owner?
  11. Define neophobic.
    afraid of new things and readily frightened
  12. Because of how horses are used, what must they be?
  13. Abnormal behavior may be a sign of _____.
    a medical problem
  14. Why is it important for use to know a horse's behavior?
    allows us to safely work around them
  15. Should we be worried if we see a horse laying on its side?
    no, some horses like to sun themselves and they often sleep in this position as well
  16. What can prevent behavioral problems?
    biological management
  17. Racing, ranching, and breeding make up what precent of the horse industry?
  18. Horses used as companion animals make up what percent of the horse industry?
  19. How much money is spent each year in racing, ranching, and breeding?
  20. What are the different uses of horses?
    • recreation and sports
    • military purposes (processionals and events)
    • transportaion and power
    • source of food (not in this country)
  21. How many horses are there in the US?
  22. Define colt.
    male < 3years old
  23. Define filly.
    female < 3 years old
  24. Define foal.
    up to 1 year old
  25. Define mare.
    female > 4 years old
  26. Define gelding.
    castrated male
  27. Define stallion.
    male > 4 years old.
  28. What are the different horses classified by size?
    • ponies
    • miniature horses
    • light horses
    • draft horses
  29. What is the size of miniature horses?
    • < 8 hands
    • smallest is 4 hands
  30. What is the size of ponies?
    < 14-2
  31. What are the different breeds of light horses?
    • American Saddlebred
    • Arabian
    • Morgan
    • Quarter horse
    • Standardbred
    • Tennessee Walking horse
    • Thoroughbred
  32. Describe a draft horse and what it is used for.
    • larger, heavier, muscular
    • to pull heavy loads
  33. What are the different breeds of draft horses?
    • Belgian
    • Clydesdale
    • Percheron
  34. What are the different breeds of ponies?
    • Welsh
    • Shetland
    • POA
  35. What are the color breeds?
    • American Paint
    • Appaloosa
    • Palmino
    • Pinto
  36. What are the different colors of horses?
    • black
    • brown
    • white
    • bay
    • chestnut
    • roan
    • gray
    • tobiano
    • overo
    • sorrel
    • dun
  37. What are the natural gaits of horses?
    • what all horses can do
    • walk, trot, gallop
  38. What are the gaits that horses have to be trained to do?
    • canter
    • stepping pace
    • amble
    • fox trot
    • running walk
    • rack
    • pace
  39. What are the different classifications by temperament?
    • hot blood:  very reactive and neophobic
    • cold blood:  draft horses - very easy tempered
    • warm blood:  mix between hot and cold blooded
  40. What is an example of a horse that is hot blooded?
  41. What is an example of a horse that is cold blooded?
  42. Where were warm blooded horses imported from?
  43. How do we get a warm blooded horse?
    breeding hot blooded and cold blooded
  44. What is an example of a warm blooded horse?
  45. What are some management things we do that is "unbiological" and can cause problems with the horse?
    • often isolated from horses and people (horses are social animals and live in bands or herds)
    • fed small meals 1 - 2 times a day (horses usually constantly eat)
    • kept stalled all day
  46. Free ranging horses live in _____.
    herds or bands
  47. How many horses live in a band or herd?
    3 - 20 horses
  48. Which horse drives the herd?
    the stallion
  49. How does the stallion drive the herd?
    from the back of the herd
  50. Since the stallion drives the herd from the back, who is leading the herd?
    led by an older mare
  51. Who is in the middle of the herd?
  52. When is the stallion in the herd replaced?
    every few years
  53. When do colts leave the herd, where do they go, and why do they leave?
    • by 2 years old
    • form their own herd (bachelor herd)
    • to prevent inbreeding
  54. What do the bachelor bands do?
    • follow other bands and try to steal fillies/mares or challenge the herd stallion
    • sometimes fillies will leave their band and join the band
  55. What are the different ways horses communicate?
    • visual
    • verbal
    • olfactory
  56. How do horses communicate with smell?
    • males mark around the herd with feces and urine
    • how a female lets males know shes in heat
  57. What are some visual signals horses use to communicate?
    • ears outward (submission or fright)
    • raise lips, show/click teeth (submission)
    • tucked tail, lowered withers, shows whites of eyes (fearful or expecting pain)
  58. What are some visual signals a horse shows to expression aggression?
    • ears laid back
    • tail lashing
    • raised rear leg
    • horses kick, strike, bite
  59. What is a strike?
    kick out front legs
  60. What is the mating face of mares in estrus?
  61. What does Rossigkeit look like?
    • ears back, but not flattened
    • lips hang loose
  62. What is the flehmen?  What is the purpose of it?
    • horse brings smell to roof of mouth
    • smells urine of estrus mare or in response to strange tastes/bit
  63. What are the different verbal cues of a horse?
    • neigh (whinny)
    • nicker
    • sharp snort
    • prolonged snorting or sneezing
    • squeal
  64. What does a neigh (whinny) mean?
    greeting or separation call
  65. What does a nicker mean?
    care giving or soliciting
  66. What does a sharp snort mean?
    alarm call
  67. What does prolonged snorting or sneezing mean?
    frustration - can't get to something they want (usually food)
  68. What does a squeal mean?
    defensive greeting
  69. What is the main determinant of the hierarchy?
    temperament (the more aggressive horses are higher up)
  70. What is the secondary determinant of the hierarchy?
    • age
    • mares are higher up than juveniles, juveniles are higher up than foals
  71. Why is the hierarchy important?
    controls access to limited resources
  72. Which horse could potentially be more dominant than the stallion?
    alpha mare
  73. Describe the foal hierarchy.
    related to birth order, but once they are equal in size then its related to the dam's rank (the more dominant the horse's mother the more dominant the foal)
  74. What are some problems we see related to the hierarchy?
    • may fight when introduced
    • subordinate horses may be deprived of food
    • if separated, hierarchy breaks down, fight when brought back together
  75. How should we introduce horses together?
    • introduce them gradually
    • allow time to see, hear, and smell each other
  76. Should you break up a horse fight if they are running and rearing at each other?
    no, you could get hurt
  77. How do we ensure that the subordinate horses are getting enough food?
    feed in separate pans in separate places
  78. What are the different types of aggression?
    • fear aggression
    • dominant aggression
  79. What do horses direct their aggression towards?
    people, other horses, other animals (especially dogs)
  80. What are somethings a horse will do when being aggressive?
    • running
    • neck wrestling
    • biting
    • kicking
  81. What are some ways to treat aggression?
    • reward desirable behavior (use grain or special treat)
    • don't interact with horse unless training
    • avoid aggressive scenario
    • immediately correct act
  82. What do we do if a horse is not as motivated with food as other horses?
    keep horse hungry during training so they will want the treat more
  83. Should we punish a horse when their aggression is due to fear?
    no, could make it worse
  84. What do trainers use to punish horses?
    • twitch
    • whip
    • pole
    • hand
    • foot
  85. Are punishments for horses often too harsh or overused?
  86. What percent of the day do horses stand up?
    88% of the day
  87. What percent of the night do horses stand up?
    71% of the night
  88. Do horses sleep standing up?
    yes unless in REM then they lie on sternum or on side
  89. When horses are laying down, what do they usually do when you approach them?
    stand up
  90. What is the main activity of horses?
  91. What percent of the horses awake time is dedicated to grazine?
    50 - 80%
  92. How do wild horses get to food and water?
    the stallions drive the band to food and water
  93. Do horses usually stand while feeding?
  94. Are horses seasonally polyestrous like cats?
  95. How long is the estrous cycle?
    19 - 21 days
  96. How long does the estrus last?
    5 - 9 days
  97. When do horses return to estrus?
    every 21 days
  98. When do horses return to estrous?
    after foaling and foal heat (about nine days)
  99. What are the common fertility and breeding problems related to?
    • management
    • nutrition
    • month
    • pathology
  100. What are the different signs of estrus in a mare?
    • breeding expression
    • wide base and squats to urinate
    • moves tail to the side
    • opens and closes the lips of the vulva
  101. What are the different problems with mares when breeding?
    • silent heat (don't know they are in heat)
    • psychic heat (mare thinks she is in heat when she is not)
    • nymphomania (does not go out of heat)
    • split heat (comes into heat, then goes out of heat, and then comes back into heat)
    • prolonged estrus
    • some hobble to stop kicking
  102. What are the different problems with stallions when breeding?
    • prefer certain mares
    • vicious towards mare
    • injured by mare before
    • overused
    • too young
    • pain from pathology
  103. What are some problems with conception?
    • bred in wrong season
    • inadequate teasing
    • poor nutrition
    • too short introduction to breeding facility
    • poor AI technique
    • breeding soundness exam
  104. What is foaling?
    giving birth
  105. What are some early signs of foaling?
    • distended udder
    • pelvic ligaments relax
    • waxing from mammary gland
    • vulva swollen, relaxed, and hanging open
  106. How long is gestation?
    around 11 months
  107. What are some late signs of foaling?
    • uneasy, restless
    • isolates from others
    • water breaks
    • may squirt milk
  108. Do horses have the same three stages of giving birth that dogs and cats have?
  109. What time of day do mares usually foal?
    at night
  110. Is foaling a very fast process?
  111. If dystocia occurs, what could happen to the mare or foal?
    could get injured or die
  112. Are foals precocious?
  113. How long does it take for a foal to stand up and begin nursing after birth?
    1 hour
  114. How long does it take for a foal to begin running after birth?
    4 hours
  115. What are some abnormal foal behavior?
    • unable to stand
    • not interested in nursing
    • biting at its anus
    • straining (males can be born with a ruptured bladder)
    • depression after few days
  116. What are some maternal behavior problems?
    • may show aggression (kicks foal passing thru birth canal or when foal is nursing due to painful mammary gland)
    • may attack foal
    • may reject foal
  117. When does a foal wean from its mother?
    4 - 6 months
  118. Can good socialization be overlooked in horses?
  119. How do we soicalize the horse?
    • handle frequently
    • expose to environment
    • early access to halter/trailer
  120. What are some ways to tell if a horse is sick or injured?
    • may kick at themselves and/or roll
    • frightened posture (tail tucked tightly onto rump, stands with feet close together)
    • if painful, tenses muscles adn swivels ears back and forth
  121. Is it a good idea to use horse restraints when working on a horse?
  122. What kind of meds can we use to help us be able to work on a horse?
    • tranquilizers
    • sedatives
    • local anesthetics
  123. Should we make sudden movements around a horse?
  124. How should we stand near a horse?
    stay close to its body
  125. If a mare or foal needs to be hospitalized, should we hospitalize them together?
  126. If we are working on a foal, what should we do with the mare?
    restrain it or take it out of the stall
  127. How do foals get their inital antibodies and when can this be a problem?
    • foals get their initial antibodies from the colostrum of the milk with in the 24 hours after being born
    • can be a problem when the foal does not nurse enough and therefore does not get the appropriate amount of antibodies
  128. Why should we NOT rush into a stall to get a horse?
    it may startle the horse and the horse may lash out
  129. How should we talk to a horse?
    softly, don't use loud voices
  130. Why do we need to be careful when we are entering a stall and the butt to the horse is facing you?
    it could kick you
  131. If the butt of the horse if facing the entrance of the stall what can we do?
    use a broom to gently push the butt to the side or shake a grain bucket to get the horse's attention to turn around
  132. What should we always do when we are putting a horse back in a stall?
    turn the horse's head toward the door
  133. What types of horses do we often seen self mutilation in?
  134. How long does a self mutilation episode last?
    lasts seconds to hours
  135. What can cause a horse to self mutilate?
    • stress
    • excitement
    • seasonal changes
    • anticipation
  136. What are different things a horse will do that is considered self mutilation?
    • may resemble disease
    • biting flank
    • biting pecs
    • kicking
    • vocalizing
    • rubbing
    • spinning in circles
    • rolling - can cause problems with their gut
    • bucking
  137. How do we treat self mutilation?
    • can be stopped by distraction
    • castration
    • minimize stress
    • drug therapy (opoid antagonists - nalmefene)
  138. What are the statistics of castrating horses to help improved self mutilation?
    castration helps 7 out of 10 horses
  139. Are adult horses typically scared of feces?
    yes, they are coprophobic
  140. What do adult horses do that can cause them to become even more coprophobic?
    • stallion accidently back up into piles
    • mares/geldings face pile
    • won't graze near feces
  141. Is it normal for foals to eat feces?  Why or why not?
    • yes
    • pick up needed bacteria to digest cellulose
  142. If an adult horse is dimenstrating coprophagy then what could it be due to?  What can we do to fix it?
    • low protein in diet
    • increase protein by 10 %
  143. Is wood chewing the same as cribbing?
  144. What can wood chewing result in?
    GI problems
  145. What could wood chewing be due to?
    • low protein diet
    • boredom
    • insufficient feed volume
  146. What are some treatments for wood chewing?
    • increase protein > 10%
    • increase eating time
    • psychological enrichment
    • protect wood - metal, hot wire
  147. What are some things we can do to psychologically enrich our horses?
    • get horse toys
    • get a companion - pony, goat, sheep, etc
    • lead or ride more
    • increase space to explore
  148. Define vices.
    • nuisance behaviors related to temperment
    • unwanted learned behaviors
    • undesirable reactions to human handling
    • bad habits
  149. What are some examples of vices?
    • biting, kicking, striking
    • crowding, rearing
    • shying
    • refusing to stand for mounting
    • refusing to lead into trailer
  150. What are some different behaviors that is considered idiopathic headshaking?
    • shakes or jerks head uncontrollably with no stimulus
    • flip head in vertical plane
    • act like insect flew up nose
    • rub muzzle on objects
  151. How many behaviors do we need to see before we will diagnose it idiopathic headshaking?
    at least 2
  152. According to a study, when does idiopathic headshaking get worse?  Better?
    • worse in sunlight
    • better at night
  153. How can we treat idiopathic headshaking?
    cyproheptadine and carbamazepine
  154. How do we train a horse to get into a trailer?
    • leave the trailer open in the pasture
    • offer feed in trailer
    • load seasoned horse first
    • may need meds
    • acclimate FOALS to the trailer
  155. Are compulsive behaviors the same as vices?
    no, compulsive behaviors are done repeatedly over and over again and must be done in order for the animal to function
  156. What percent of horses have compulsive behaviors?
    > 15%
  157. Are complusive behaviors normal or abnormal?
  158. What can cause compulsive behaviors?
    • inadequate environment which results in chronic stress
    • lack of social contact
    • boredom
    • fear inducing stimulus
    • erratic management practices
    • inconsistent handling
  159. Define compulsive behaviors.
    • abnormal expressions of normal behavior
    • repetitive
    • interfere with normal functioning
  160. What are some examples of compulsive behaviors?  There are 23 of them.
    • cribbing
    • windsucking
    • tongue flapping
    • lip licking
    • teeth grinding
    • eating dirt
    • psychogenic polyphagia or polydipsia
    • weaving
    • walking in place
    • pawing
    • fence walking
    • stall walking
    • door banging
    • stall kicking
    • masturbation
    • body rubbing
    • eating bedding
    • head bobbing
    • tail switching
    • stargazing
    • excessive grooming
    • tail/mane eating
    • tail rubbing
  161. Are compulsive behaviors seen in the wild?
  162. How do we treat compulsive behaviors?
    • removal of stressors
    • desensitization and counterconditioning
    • physical interference with act
    • drug therapy
  163. How do we remove stressors?
    • increase activity for horse
    • environmental stimulation
    • provide interactivity
    • provide companion
    • increase eating time
  164. How do we desensitize compuslive behaviors?
    • need to identify stimulus
    • quantify and expose to low threshold
    • counter conditioning
    • gradually increase threshold
  165. How do we prevent compulsive behaviors?
    • remove stressor
    • hot wire
    • brace
    • strap
    • pads
    • cross ties
    • surgery
  166. Can we use drug therapy to treat compuslive behaviors?
    yes, but it is very expensive due to the size of the horse
  167. What are some drugs we could use to treat compulsive behaviors?
    • opioid antagonists (block endorphins) - naloxone, naltrexone
    • serotonin uptake inhibitors - clomipramine, fluoxetine
Card Set
Equine Behavior