Behavioral Biology of Horses
DOI link for Behavioral Biology of Horses
Behavioral Biology of Horses book
Horses have a special status in many human societies. Valued for their power, trainability, reliability, speed, and grace, horses have played a significant role in human history. Nowadays, horses in Western countries are mainly used for sports and leisure, although they are still used as working animals in many areas around the world. Most behavioral research on domestic horses focuses on horse–human interactions, social behavior, effects of housing and management restrictions, and their cognitive abilities. Practical horse training is primarily based on negative reinforcement, through the application of rein tension and pressure from the rider’s legs, which is removed when the horse shows the desired response. Horse groups usually stabilize with a social order, which is challenged when new members arrive. Sexual behavior in mares is limited to their estrous periods, which occur as early as 2 years of age in nature, depending on the physical condition of the mare.