The effect of music on the emotional state of race horses
Racehorses subject to training and races experience a lot of stress. It is important to limit stressors in order to enhance horse welfare. Music has been proven to relief pain, lower anxiety, blood pressure and heart rate in humans. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of music on the emotional state of race horses.
Seventy 3-year-old Purebred Arabian racehorses in their first race season were divided into an experimental and control group. The experimental group was subject to music for five hours a day. The emotional state of the horses were measured at rest, at saddling and during the warm-up in walk under the rider. Cardiac activity measurements were taken six times, every 30 to 35 days. The music effect on the emotional state was also considered with regard to the horse’s performance estimated by race records.
Results showed that music had a positive effect on the emotional state in racehorses, with the influence being noticeable after one month and increased in the second and third month. The music also showed to have a positive effect on prizes won by the horses in the experimental group compared to the control group. The authors concluded that music may be featured in the barn as a means of improving the welfare of racehorses.
Do you play music in the barn?
If not, would you consider playing music to reduce stress in your horse?
Do you think it lowers stress in your horse?
Have you ever noticed a positive effect of music on your horse?
> From: Stachurska et al., J. Equine Vet. Sci. 35 (2015) 650-656. All rights reserved to Elsevier Inc.. Click here for the online summary.