Veterinary and Equine Science Students’ Interpretation of Horse Behaviour
Simple SummaryWe assessed first-year veterinary science and veterinary technology and undergraduate equine science students interpretation of expressive horse behaviours. Previous experience with horses appeared to influence the students’ perception of the horses’ behaviour. Qualitative assessments of horse behaviour may be a useful tool for assessing students’ knowledge of horse behaviour.
AbstractMany veterinary and undergraduate equine science students have little previous horse handling experience and a poor understanding of horse behaviour; yet horses are one of the most unsafe animals with which veterinary students must work. It is essential for veterinary and equine students to learn how to interpret horse behaviour in order to understand demeanour and levels of arousal, and to optimise their own safety and the horses’ welfare. The study utilised a qualitative research approach to investigate veterinary science and veterinary technology and undergraduate equine science students’ interpretation of expressive behaviours shown by horses. The students (N = 127) were shown six short video clips and asked to select the most applicable terms, from a pre-determined list, to describe the behavioural expression of each individual horse. A wide variation of terms were selected by students and in some situations of distress, or situations that may be dangerous or lead to compromised welfare, apparently contradictory terms were also selected (happy or playful) by students with less experience with horses. Future studies should consider the use of Qualitative Behavioural Analysis (QBA) and free-choice profiling to investigate the range of terms used by students to describe the expressive demeanour and arousal levels of horses. View Full-Text
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Gronqvist, G.; Rogers, C.; Gee, E.; Martinez, A.; Bolwell, C. Veterinary and Equine Science Students’ Interpretation of Horse Behaviour. Animals 2017, 7, 63.
Gronqvist G, Rogers C, Gee E, Martinez A, Bolwell C. Veterinary and Equine Science Students’ Interpretation of Horse Behaviour. Animals. 2017; 7(8):63.Chicago/Turabian Style
Gronqvist, Gabriella; Rogers, Chris; Gee, Erica; Martinez, Audrey; Bolwell, Charlotte. 2017. "Veterinary and Equine Science Students’ Interpretation of Horse Behaviour." Animals 7, no. 8: 63.