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The effect of social environment and handling on the behavioural and physical development of young horses
DJF rapport Husdyrbrug, nr. 55, 2003

Af Eva Søndergaard, Department of Animal Health and Welfare, Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences

The social environment affects the behaviour of horses both before and during the training sessions, in that group housing exerts a positive effect on the behaviour of young horses during training. When first released in the training arena, single housed horses ran loose for a longer period than group housed horses. During training group housed horses “passed” more stages of the training program than single housed horses. In addition, single housed horses bit the trainer more frequently during training than did group housed horses. The responses of group housed horses to training clearly demonstrate the benefits of raising young horses in groups.

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