Behaviour differences between geldings and mares challenge sex stereotypes in equine behaviour
It has been shown that people within the horse industry have preconceived ideas about horse behaviour, temperament and rideability, based solely on the sex of the horse. Such ideas can have welfare implications, if personnel allow bias to affect their interactions with particular horses.
Such welfare implications include employment of harsher training methods, and increased horse wastage. The current study explored data on riders’ and trainers’ reports of ridden horse behaviour.
Reported sex-related behavioural differences were evaluated based on 1233 responses from the pilot study of the Equine Behaviour and Research Questionnaire (E-BARQ) survey.
Results from the study suggest there are some sex-related differences in behaviour between male and female horses; geldings are more likely to chew on rugs and lead ropes when tied, and mares are more likely to move away when being caught in paddock. However, there was no evidence of sex-related differences associated with behaviour when ridden which may warrant further investigation.
Findings from this study may be used to educate riders and trainers about the need to regard behaviour and motivation in ridden horses as sex-neutral. - Animals, 2020.
E-BARQ is the study of how horse training and management impacts on behavior. The questionnaire, which will take between 20 and 30 minutes to complete, assesses your horse's personality and provides users with a 'results' graph.
Have you ever thought your horse was more 'trainable' than others? Perhaps a little more or less 'confident' than horses you have had before?
Take your E-BARQ now, it's completely free to use and you can come back again in 6 months and take another test to see what improvements you've made.