2014 Student Research Conference:
27th Annual Student Research Conference

Development of an Objective On-farm Equine Temperament Scoring System
Josephine N. Foley
Dr. Kelly Walter, Faculty Mentor

Twenty-seven horses were utilized in a two phase test to evaluate behavior. Phase 1 included 10-minutes of isolation while tied. Phase 2 tested willingness to cross an obstacle. Behaviors were recorded and used to develop a 0 to 6 scoring system. Vitals were evaluated before and after every test and blood samples were also obtained to evaluate cortisol concentration. Change in vitals and cortisol was calculated by subtracting pre-test from post-test values. Positive correlation existed between cortisol change and score in both phases (r ≥ 0.61; p < 0.001), and between vitals and score (r ≥ 0.4387, p ≤ 0.02). However, there was no correlation between phase 1 and phase 2 scores (r = 0.25, p = 0.20). This suggests each phase evaluated different aspects of behavior, and both phases could be used together to evaluate temperament.

Keywords: Behavior Evaluation, Equine, Temperament

Topic(s):Agricultural Science

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 2-4
Location: GEO - SUB
Time: 3:30

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