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Influence of the activities imposed by the human being on equine emotional responses

Serradas Viegas Mendonça, Tiago. Influence of the activities imposed by the human being on equine emotional responses. PhD, Pathologie, Toxicologie, Génétique et Nutrition, Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse, 2020, 186 p.

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Abstract

Humans have made profits from equine activities, which evolved through times. Horses worked as transport facilitator, become an advantage in times of war and are athletes in many sport disciplines. Nowadays, horses are involved in therapies to improve human medical conditions as well. Horses are often involved in different equestrian disciplines or work activities, which require a great adaptation capacity of the animal. Therefore, horses’ implication in diverse activities may probably be the reason for the variability of equine emotional responses (either positive or negative). Equine emotional responses to different activities can be investigated using behavioural and physiological indicators of emotions. The aim of this thesis was to study the influence of some activities imposed by humans in horses’ emotional responses. The investigation of novel physiological indicators (biological ones) that may play a role in emotional responses (e.g. oxytocin) was also an aim of this thesis. Results from this thesis demonstrated that equine emotional responses vary according to the activity in which horses are involved. Lateral exercises were beneficial for the emotional states of horses involved in different equestrian disciplines (dressage, jumping, eventing). Equine-assisted therapy did not produce negative nor positive emotions. Sport horses (Chilean rodeo) differed from working horses (urban draught work) in their emotional responses to a specific stimulus. Different plasma levels of free oxytocin were associated with different equine activities. These results disclose many perspectives and research questions. Equine emotional responses should be investigated within each equestrian discipline or work activity separately. Training/working methods investigations may reveal innovative solutions to improve equine welfare. Further investigation on biological indicators (positive or negative) is still needed.

Item Type:PhD Thesis
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Institution:Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
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Research Director:
Pageat, Patrick and Bienboire-Frosini, Cécile
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Deposited On:16 Feb 2021 12:33

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