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Behavior

Horses kept  in larger pens had  reduced levels of blood cortisol, a  hormone associated with stress.

For a harmonious herd, provide enough space

Research from Ohio State University suggests that horses need a minimum amount of space to derive all the benefits of turnout—and to stay out of each other's hair.

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How Do Horses See Themselves?

New research confirms earlier findings suggesting that horses have cognitive self-awareness, which enables them to recognize their own reflections.

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Is your horse in pain? Now there’s a better way to tell

The Equine Discomfort Ethogram is designed to help veterinarians and horse owners manage horses in pain.

Black horse and grey donkey grazing

Comparing equid skulls for insight into behavioral differences

Researchers hope the study can explain differences in behavior between horses an donkeys.

Horse looking out of a stall

Is your horse in the mood to perform well?

A study suggests that a horse who seems unhappy or aggressive in his stall is likely to have a negative attitude and choppier gaits when working under saddle.

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New Online Resource Offers Horse Behavior Information

Three scientists recently launched a YouTube Channel that presents videos on a variety of equine behavior and training topics.

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A new way to spot stress in horses

Researchers say horses faced with challenging situations blink less often than do those who are calm.

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How medical students learn horse sense

Horses are helping the next generation of medical doctors learn how to cope with ambiguity.

Horses eating off sandy soil

Some horses have a taste for sand

Researchers have found that some cases of sand colic because horses actually like to eat soil, rather than ingesting inadvertently as previously thought.

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Are you setting your horse up for bad behavior?

Research shows that confinement, feeding practices and other lifestyle factors can make a horse more likely to develop undesirable behaviors.

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Behaviors that indicate lameness

Equine lameness can be difficult to detect, but a study from England confirms the reliability of a relatively new tool for identifying subtle signs of musculoskeletal pain in horse:

Researchers found that ponies were more reactive when they were on the high-starch diet,

Research links diet and behavior

Just as we all suspected: Diets high in starch can contribute to “spookier” behavior.

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Reasons for "girthiness" investigated

Ill-fitting tack is often blamed for girthiness but resistant behavior was linked to that cause in only a small number of the study horses.

A horse whinnying

What whinnies may mean

Researchers have identified the emotions conveyed by specific types of equine vocalizations.

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How to listen to your horse

Horses are asking us questions all the time, says the author of the book, Horse Speak, and with practice you can learn to answer appropriately—and start a meaningful conversation.

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Managing a “macho” gelding

Here's what to do when your gelding tries to assume the role of stallion in his herd.

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What your horse's hair whirls and whorls may mean

Research shows that the direction of a horse's "cowlicks" provides clues to how he will behave when he spooks.

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When dominant body language can backfire when working with horses

Taking more submissive body postures when working with horses can be more helpful in certain situations.

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Mixed signals

An old Thoroughbred offers a reminder of how well horses understand our body language–even when we don’t mean what we “say.”

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How horse think

In their new book, Farancesco De Giorgio and José De Giorgio-Schoorl explain the elements of equine cognition and explore how they shape our relationships with horses.

Woman standing next to a horse in an indoor arena.

How horses ask for help

Researchers found horses used visual and tactile clues to direct humans to help them reach treats.

Three chestnut horses standing at a pipe pasture gate.

How your horse learns by watching you

Research reveals that horses can copy tasks they watch humans perform.

Horse wearing purple blanket with neck cover

Training horses to choose their own blankets

Norwegian researchers have been able to teach horses to indicate their preference when it comes to blanketing.

A chestnut horse yawning

Nothing boring about yawning

A yawn can signal something other than boredom or drowsiness, it may mean a horse is frustrated or unhappy.