Behavioral problems in Italian saddle horses

  • Normando S
  • Canali E
  • Ferrante V
 et al. 
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Abstract

A survey was carried out in 25 riding centers to evaluate the prevalence of behavioral problems among saddle horses and to investigate the relationship between these and individual traits, training and management of the affected horses. Seven percent of the 650 horses examined had some kind of behavioral problems, and crib-biting was the most frequent. These behavioral problems seemed to be related to the sort of training and management. Show jumping horses tended to be affected simultaneously by more than one behavioral problem and to be more aggressive towards other horses. Although show jumpers were ridden more often, they had fewer opportunities to graze. The prevalence of behavioral problems was lower among those horses ridden Western style than among those ridden English style; the latter employs more hand to bit contact. The study also showed that horses groomed and ridden by one and the same person had more problems than horses groomed and ridden also by different people.

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