Final - Problem Behaviours in Horses Flashcards Preview

ANSC 378 - Companion Animal Behaviour > Final - Problem Behaviours in Horses > Flashcards

Flashcards in Final - Problem Behaviours in Horses Deck (22)
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1
Q

What are 4 sterotypies/abberant behaviours of stable horses?

A
  1. Cribbing (crib-biting)
    - Horse bites hard surface, pulls back and sucks in air
    - May be accompanied by wood chewing
  2. Wind sucking
    - Sucks in air without biting hard surface
  3. Pacing (box or stall walking)
    - Horse continuously paces or walks in circles in stall
  4. Weaving
    - horse stands in one spot and shifts weight/rocks from one front leg to another; may swing head and neck from side to side
2
Q

What should always be ruled out before any behavioural therapy is adopted for “unwelcome” behaviours?

A

Physical causes
- can compromise horse welfare
- can compromise horse performance

3
Q

When are bits used? What for?

A

A mechanical approach to behaviour
- Used when trainers encounter a horse that rapidly enters conflict and does not want to comply.
- Increased pressure to overcome resistance and bits magnify the pressure that riders can apply
- Many types of bits available on the mkt; none really provide all the answers
- When aversive stimuli have failed to elicit the desired response and have begun to cause behavioural conflict, the application of force is contra-indicated

4
Q

Although tempting to treat unwelcome behaviours in isolation, what is the best approach to show better results?

A

A holistic approach
- horse-human relationship is nurtured
- use of punishment should be seen in this light as well, as it can undermine the relationship

5
Q

What are 2 commonly accepted horse behaviour modification techniques/

A
  1. Habituation
    - Eg. overcoming fear-related responses
  2. Counter-conditioning
    - Relies heavily on the shaping of alternative responses through operant conditioning
    - Including: R+ and subtle R-
6
Q

What should be kept in mind when trying to modify behaivour?

A

Keep in mind the causal factors responsible for the problem behaviour; must address the underlying cause
- Horse owners and trainers should be extremely competent in learning theory

7
Q

Problem: Biting and bite threats

A

Causes: aggression to deter approaching personnel

Therapy: total refurbishment of the horse-human bond

8
Q

Problem: Claustrophobia

A

Cause: Innate fear of enclosed spaces; learned fear of aversive human responses

Therapy:
- Clicker train to approach, stand beside and enter enclosures
- Reinstall leading cues

9
Q

Problem: Difficult to bridle

A

Causes: Learned evasion of discomfort from bit, crown piece and brow band

Therapy:
- Partially dismantle bridle and apply in parts to identify the most aversive element
- Counter-conditioning; clicker training to stand quietly in usual area used for bridling
- Shape tolerance of key elements of the bridling process

10
Q

Problem: Difficult to saddle-up

A

Causes: Learned evasion; response to past pain

Therapy: Counter-conditioning; clicker training to stand while being saddled

11
Q

Problem: Difficult to shoe

A

Cause: Learned evasion from fear

Therapy:
- Habituation
- Counter-conditioning; clicker training

12
Q

Problem: Dislike of grooming

A

Causes: Innate ticklishness; learned evasion

Therapy:
- Habituation
- Counter-conditioning

13
Q

Problem: Fear of veterinarians

A

Causes: Innate aversion to pain and learned evasion to associated stimuli

Therapy:
- Habituation
- Counter-conditioning- first the owner, then the vet; clicker training of appropriate responses

14
Q

Problem: Hard to catch

A

Causes: Learned evasion

Therapy: Clicker training for approaching personnel; extinguish associations with being removed from group

15
Q

Problem: Refusal to load

A

Cause: learned evasion, claustrophobia

Therapy: reinstall leading cues; clicker training for approaching and entering vehicle

16
Q

Problem: Refusal to stand while being mounted

A

Cause: Learned evasion of bit pressure; anticipation of kinetic behaviour

Therapy: Reinstall leading cues; clicker training; shape the horse to stand quietly for increasing periods before moving forward

17
Q

Problem: Rearing

A

Causes: Learned evasion; habituation to pressure from head collar or halter; aggression

Therapy: Reinstall leading cues

18
Q

What are 4 agonistic responses to conflict?

A
  1. Bucking
    - response used to fight conspecifics and dislodge predators
  2. Rearing
    - response used to fight conspecifics and predators
  3. Balking and bolting home
    - motivation to return to home range or social group is greater than motivation to respond to rider’s signals
  4. Rushing fences
    - behavioural mechanism unclear
    - horse travels too rapidly toward fences- thought to be making attempt to reduce the aversiveness of the stimulus by running towards it
19
Q

What are 3 performance problems under saddle?

A
  1. Fatigue
    - lack of energy as distinct from lack of willingness to respond
  2. Tripping, toe dragging, stumbling and clumsiness
    - poor locomotion due to fatigue, conformation or excessive hoof growth
  3. Hitting fences
    - failure to elevate limbs, especially the leading foreleg while jumping
20
Q

What are 5 rider faults aka poor application of learning theory which confuses the horse?

A
  1. Nagging
    - repeated application of aversive stimuli regardless of response
  2. Poor timing
    - application of signals after the response has been offered
  3. Inconsistency
    - failure to relieve pressure to reinforce every desirable response
  4. Failure to reinforce
    - ignoring the need to relieve pressure
  5. Inappropriate punishment
    - punishment for fear responses
21
Q

What does equine behaviour therapy rely on?

A
  1. Consideration of the ethological relevance of unwelcome behaviours
  2. Elimination of pain and discomfort as proximate causes
  3. The application of learning theory to resolve learned responses
22
Q

What can help to identify the causal factors of an unwanted behaviour?

A

Consideration of the motivation for undesirable responses in ethological terms