Researchers: Young Foals in Halter Training Need Frequent Days Off
“We were really surprised to see such a significant difference in the amount of biting these young foals did according to how often they got days off,” said Hayley Randle, PhD, of Charles Sturt University’s School of Animal and Veterinary Science, in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia.
“Biting in young foals is a behavioral sign of stress,” she explained. “These foals were only training less than half an hour a day, but by the fourth day in a row many were biting the handlers, some frequently. Meanwhile, foals of the same age that got a one-day break after the second training day were much less likely to bite, even on the fourth day of actual training.”
Randle presented the work of her colleague, Jaymie Loy, BSc, of Charles Sturt University, during the 15th annual International Society for Equitation Science (ISES) conference, held Aug. 19-21 in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. The team worked with foal trainers in New Zealand who practice evidence-based foundation training using negative
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