Horse Blanket On or Off?
Wish your horse could tell you if they want a horse blanket on or off on a cold, but sunny day, so they don’t end up a sweaty mess? A study finds horses can use symbols to communicate their preferences with their human counterparts.
The study published in Applied Animal Behaviour Science explores the training of 23 horses in Norway to use three neutral symbols so the animals can communicate their blanketing preferences with their handlers.
Warmbloods took less training days to reach the criteria than the coldbloods.
Researchers state the horses used their new insight to communicate their preferences regarding blanketing to stay comfortable.
The study states positive reinforcement training increases horses’ interest in humans and their motivation to participate in training. When the horses realized they could communicate regarding their blankets, many of the horses became eager and focused during their sessions.