Therapeutic Riding (TR) is a global therapeutic method in which the horse becomes an active component of therapy; nevertheless TR is recognized as potential stressor. The aim was the identification of abnormal behaviours in TR horses. Firstly we conducted an investigation by means of questionnaires to TR centres. Then we made direct ethological observations on 4 TR horses. Those approaches highlighted a late identification of stress-related behaviours; frequent onset of physical-behavioural problems (due to features of TR). Therefore further ethological studies were performed on 3 experimental groups (n=4): TR (A), destined to sport activity (B) and semi-wild breeding (C) horses. A data sheet of behavioural assessment was utilised. Group A showed a prevalence of reactive type anomalies (tendency toward hypo- with sporadic demonstrations of hyper-reactivity), in group B motor/oral-ingestive anomalies resulted more frequent. Group C didn’t show abnormal behaviours. Our results confirm previous observations and seem to reflect that specific stressors, conflicting with horse’s motivations and adaptive skills, may determine disturbs related to a state of constraint or anxiety.

Anomalie comportamentali nei cavalli adibiti alla riabilitazione equestre.

LI DESTRI NICOSIA, DORA;BACCI, MARIA LAURA
2009

Abstract

Therapeutic Riding (TR) is a global therapeutic method in which the horse becomes an active component of therapy; nevertheless TR is recognized as potential stressor. The aim was the identification of abnormal behaviours in TR horses. Firstly we conducted an investigation by means of questionnaires to TR centres. Then we made direct ethological observations on 4 TR horses. Those approaches highlighted a late identification of stress-related behaviours; frequent onset of physical-behavioural problems (due to features of TR). Therefore further ethological studies were performed on 3 experimental groups (n=4): TR (A), destined to sport activity (B) and semi-wild breeding (C) horses. A data sheet of behavioural assessment was utilised. Group A showed a prevalence of reactive type anomalies (tendency toward hypo- with sporadic demonstrations of hyper-reactivity), in group B motor/oral-ingestive anomalies resulted more frequent. Group C didn’t show abnormal behaviours. Our results confirm previous observations and seem to reflect that specific stressors, conflicting with horse’s motivations and adaptive skills, may determine disturbs related to a state of constraint or anxiety.
Atti della Società Italiana delle Scienze Veterinarie
46
47
Li Destri Nicosia DMS; Sabioni S; Facchini E; Ridolfo E; Bacci ML.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/82316
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