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Rein Tension Signals Elicit Different Behavioral Responses When Comparing Bitted Bridle and Halter

Eisersiö, Marie and Byström, Anna and Yngvesson, Jenny and Baragli, Paolo and Lanata, Antonio and Egenvall, Agneta (2021). Rein Tension Signals Elicit Different Behavioral Responses When Comparing Bitted Bridle and Halter. Frontiers in Veterinary Science. 8 , 652015
[Research article]

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Abstract

When a rider maintains contact on the reins, rein tension will vary continuously in synchronicity with the horse's gait and stride. This continuous variation makes it difficult to isolate the rein tension variations that represent a rein tension signal, complicating interpretation of rein tension data from the perspective of horse-rider interaction. This study investigated (1) the characteristics of a rein tension signal and (2) horse response to a rein tension signal for backing, comparing pressure applied by a bit (bridle), or by a noseband (halter). Twenty Warmblood horses (10 young, 10 adult) wearing a rein tension meter were trained to step back in the aisle of a stable. The handler stood next to the horse's withers, applying tension on the reins until the horse stepped back. This was repeated eight times with the bridle and eight times with the halter. Data analysis was performed using mixed linear and logistic regression models. Horses displaying behaviors other than backing showed significantly increased response latency and rein tension. Inattentive behavior was significantly more common in the halter treatment and in young horses, compared with the bridle treatment and adult horses. Evasive behaviors with the head, neck, and mouth were significantly more common in the bridle treatment than in the halter treatment and the occurrence of head/neck/mouth behaviors increased with increasing rein tension and duration of the rein tension signal. When controlling for behavior, the horses responded significantly faster and to a lighter rein tension signal in the bridle treatment than in the halter treatment. By scrutinizing data on rein tension signals in relation to horse behavior and training exercise, more can be learnt about the horse's experience of the pressures applied and the timing of the release. This can assist in developing ways to evaluate rein tension in relation to correct use of negative reinforcement.

Authors/Creators:Eisersiö, Marie and Byström, Anna and Yngvesson, Jenny and Baragli, Paolo and Lanata, Antonio and Egenvall, Agneta
Title:Rein Tension Signals Elicit Different Behavioral Responses When Comparing Bitted Bridle and Halter
Series Name/Journal:Frontiers in Veterinary Science
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:8
Article number:652015
Number of Pages:13
Publisher:FRONTIERS MEDIA SA
ISSN:2297-1769
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 403 Veterinary Science > Medical Bioscience
Keywords:negative reinforcement, horse-rider interaction, equine behavior, headstall, horse training
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-112241
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-112241
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.3389/fvets.2021.652015
Web of Science (WoS)000652494900001
ID Code:24509
Faculty:VH - Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science
Department:(VH) > Dept. of Clinical Sciences
(VH) > Dept. of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry
(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:11 Jun 2021 06:43
Metadata Last Modified:11 Jun 2021 06:51

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