Special Issue "Performance Horse Welfare: From Good Training to Appropriate Behaviour"

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 December 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Barbara Padalino

College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, HKSAR, Hong Kong, China
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Guest Editor
Prof. Sue M. McDonnell

University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, New Bolton Center, 382 W Street Rd, Kennett Square, PA 19348, USA
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue welcomes the submission of full manuscripts of abstracts presented at the 14th International Society for Equitation Science Conference and other manuscripts related to the topics. Manuscripts reporting research related to good training, good feeding, good housing, good health, appropriate behaviour, and the human-horse relationship will be considered with the aim to enhance and safeguard the welfare and the health of the performance horses during training and non-training periods.

Dr. Barbara Padalino
Prof. Sue M. McDonnell
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Animals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Examining Canadian Equine Industry Participants’ Perceptions of Horses and Their Welfare
Animals 2018, 8(11), 201; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8110201
Received: 9 October 2018 / Revised: 3 November 2018 / Accepted: 5 November 2018 / Published: 7 November 2018
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Abstract
The diversity of the Canadian equine industry makes determining baseline attitudes and beliefs a challenge. Adult members of the Canadian equine industry (n = 901) participated in an online survey to report demographic information and views on the role of horses and their
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The diversity of the Canadian equine industry makes determining baseline attitudes and beliefs a challenge. Adult members of the Canadian equine industry (n = 901) participated in an online survey to report demographic information and views on the role of horses and their ability to experience affective states. Questions regarding the welfare state of all horses in the industry, potential ways to address welfare issues, and eight short scenarios were presented. Qualitative analysis, descriptive statistics, and a Chi-squared test for independence examined survey results and potential relationships. Participants strongly believed horses were capable of feeling positive and negative emotions, particularly pain and fear, but rarely were these beliefs reflected in their answers regarding aspects of equine welfare, which may be due to the large bias in these beliefs. Lack of knowledge and financial difficulties were noted as the biggest threats to equine welfare. Overall, there was widespread agreement regarding the presence of welfare issues within the equine industry, but opinions were more divided regarding how to best address them and which horses were most at risk. Understanding these perceptions may be useful to direct educational programs and industry-wide initiatives to address equine welfare through human behaviour change. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Parameters for the Analysis of Social Bonds in Horses
Animals 2018, 8(11), 191; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8110191
Received: 8 October 2018 / Revised: 22 October 2018 / Accepted: 25 October 2018 / Published: 27 October 2018
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Abstract
Social bond analysis is of major importance for the evaluation of social relationships in group housed horses. However, in equine behaviour literature, studies on social bond analysis are inconsistent. Mutual grooming (horses standing side by side and gently nipping, nuzzling, or rubbing each
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Social bond analysis is of major importance for the evaluation of social relationships in group housed horses. However, in equine behaviour literature, studies on social bond analysis are inconsistent. Mutual grooming (horses standing side by side and gently nipping, nuzzling, or rubbing each other), affiliative approaches (horses approaching each other and staying within one body length), and measurements of spatial proximity (horses standing with body contact or within two horse-lengths) are commonly used. In the present study, we assessed which of the three parameters is most suitable for social bond analysis in horses, and whether social bonds are affected by individual and group factors. We observed social behaviour and spatial proximity in 145 feral horses, five groups of Przewalski’s horses (N = 36), and six groups of feral horses (N = 109) for 15 h per group, on three days within one week. We found grooming, friendly approaches, and spatial proximity to be robust parameters, as their correlation was affected only by the animals’ sex (GLMM: N = 145, SE = 0.001, t = −2.7, p = 0.008) and the group size (GLMM: N = 145, SE < 0.001, t = 4.255, p < 0.001), but not by the horse breed, the aggression ratio, the social rank, the group, the group composition, and the individuals themselves. Our results show a trend for a correspondence between all three parameters (GLMM: N = 145, SE = 0.004, t = 1.95, p = 0.053), a strong correspondence between mutual grooming and friendly approaches (GLMM: N = 145, SE = 0.021, t = 3.922, p < 0.001), and a weak correspondence between mutual grooming and spatial proximity (GLMM: N = 145, SE = 0.04, t = 1.15, p = 0.25). We therefore suggest either using a combination of the proactive behaviour counts mutual grooming and friendly approaches, or using measurements of close spatial proximity, for the analysis of social bonds in horses within a limited time frame. Full article
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