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Development of an Objective Temperament Test for Horses

Description :  Horses have proven to be beneficial to individuals receiving therapeutic treatments by improving physical and emotional health, in addition to other benefits. While therapeutic horse riding programs are beneficial, finding compatible horses can be difficult depending on the horse`s temperament. Traditional temperament scales vary and often present contradictory findings, relying on hormone measurements, heart rate, and scoring systems in response to various stimuli for judging their temperament. This project seeks to develop an objective temperament test for horses  by analyzing exit velocities, a similar test used in the cattle industry. By examining horse exit velocity from pens equipped with spring loaded flags, as well as sampling blood plasma cortisol levels, respiration rate, and heart rate prior to and after exiting, the investigator`s goals are to develop a more accurate and useful temperament scale. This scale will then be used to select suitable horses for therapeutic riding programs.
Principal Investigator:  Gentry, Laura  --  Agricultural Sciences
Collaborators:  
Funding Agencies:  BoR/Pfund
Amount Awarded:  10,000

Start Period:  01/01/2014 End Period:  12/31/2014
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