Home About Browse Search

Östberg, Alexandra, 2020. Hästars (Equus caballus) beteenderespons på varma respektive kalla bett : en experimentell studie. First cycle, G2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Animal Environment and Health



Bits of different varieties are hypothesized to have been used for horses for at least 4000 of the 6000
years of domestication. However, the focus of previous studies regarding bits have mainly been on
physical injuries caused by pressure points, effects of different shapes and their influence on the
horse. Limited focus has been put on the temperature of the bit and its impact, although this aspect
affects many horses daily. The present study aimed to investigate and compare horses’ responses of
both facial expressions and body language when being bridled with warm respective cold bits.

The study was performed in April in Sweden with an air temperature of 5°C. It was performed
on ten Icelandic horses and behaviours were divided into positive and negative expressions. Facial
expressions and posture of the head were analyzed as proportion of time, while body languages and
full eye blinks were analyzed as frequencies of observation occasions.

The results suggested that the horses, on average, seemed to prefer warm bits of 35°C, roughly
equivalent with the temperature of their mouth, over cold bits with a temperature of 6°C. This was
reflected in a higher proportion of time correlated with positive behaviours when being bridled with
a warm bit compared to a cold bit. The results also suggested that a cold bit was perceived as more
uncomfortable than not being bridled, while a warm bit, and its connection to perceived discomfort
between being bridled and not, was less clear. The effect of the bit temperature needs further
investigation in future studies.

Based on present study, one could speculate that horses might accept or like warmer bits more
than cold bits. This could potentially affect initial responses to training and handling as evasive
behaviours could be eliminated.

Main title:Hästars (Equus caballus) beteenderespons på varma respektive kalla bett
Subtitle:en experimentell studie
Authors:Östberg, Alexandra
Supervisor:Hartmann, Elke and Lundblad, Johan
Examiner:Lundberg, Anna
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2020
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G2E
Student's programme affiliation:VK005 Ethology and Animal Welfare - Bachelor's Programme, 180.0hp
Supervising department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health
Keywords:häst, Equus caballus, bett, utrustning, beteende, ansiktsuttryck, kroppsspråk
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Animal ecology
Deposited On:13 Jul 2020 11:25
Metadata Last Modified:14 Jul 2020 01:02

Repository Staff Only: item control page


Downloads per year (since September 2012)

View more statistics