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Grähs, Amanda, 2023. Oönskade beteenden hos häst i samband med sadling : en beteendestudie utförd på svenska ridskolor. First cycle, G2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Animal Environment and Health (until 231231)



Horses display a variety of behaviors when stressed or in pain, some of these are subtle and difficult for humans to read and understand, while others such as biting or kicking are more obvious. Horses' unwanted behaviors are often dismissed and ignored, and this can negatively affect their welfare. Most riding horses are saddled at least once per day, and it is common that horses show aggressive behaviour during saddling. An ill–fitting saddle can be detrimental to the horses’ back and could also be the cause of aggressive behavior which could pose a risk to riding school students’ safety. The aim of this study was to investigate how saddling affected riding school horse behavior. The study also aimed to compare if more behaviors were displayed when novice riders or experienced riders saddled. A third aim was to analyse if there were differences in the horses’ behavior when the saddle was fitted by a professional saddlemaster or not. An ethogram, based on previous research, comprised twelve different behaviors. In total thirty-five horses from two different riding schools were observed during saddling, eight of these were observed twice, once with novice riders and once with experienced riders. The results showed that horses expressed many undesirable behaviors during saddling, especially when the rider lifts the saddle toward the horse and when the girth is tightened. Out of the thirty-five horses 67% showed painface, which indicates that these horses may feel pain and/or discomfort when saddled. The most common behavior shown was ears back and the most common aggressive behavior shown was biting. The study found no significant difference in horses' behaviors neither if novices or experienced riders saddled nor if the riding school utilized a professional saddlemaster. However, there were tendencies towards horses showing more behaviors when novice riders saddled and when no professional saddlemaster was utilized. More research on a larger group of horses would therefore be beneficial to understanding how saddling affects horse behavior and the impact this has on horse welfare and human safety.

Main title:Oönskade beteenden hos häst i samband med sadling
Subtitle:en beteendestudie utförd på svenska ridskolor
Authors:Grähs, Amanda
Supervisor:Yngvesson, Jenny
Examiner:Andersson, Maria
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2023
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 (until 231231)
Keywords:hästetologi, hästvälfärd, etogram, aggression, stress, smärta, sadling, sadelinpassning
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Deposited On:04 Jul 2023 10:48
Metadata Last Modified:05 Jul 2023 01:01

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