Navigation Links
Horses don't have stage fright -- but their riders do
Date:2/19/2013

It is well known that horses show symptoms of stress when ridden but relatively little attention has been paid to the effects on their riders. This is surprising, as equestrian sports rely on the close cooperation between the animals and their riders. How does the horse-rider team cope with the stress involved in competing in an equestrian event?

The issue has now been studied by Mareike von Lewinski in the group of Christine Aurich at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna (Vetmeduni Vienna), together with colleagues at the Vetmeduni Vienna and at the Ecole Nationale d'Equitation in Saumur, France. The scientists measured the changes in various stress-related parameters, such as the level of stress hormones in saliva and the regularity of the pulse, in horses and their riders when the animals were ridden in a particular show programme. The measurements were taken both when the presentation was completed in front of about a thousand spectators and when the riders practised beforehand without any spectators. The results were compared to assess how the riders and their mounts responded to the presence of the audience.

In line with previous experiments, the researchers could observe symptoms of stress higher cortisol concentrations in the saliva and more irregular heartbeats both in horses and in their riders during the study. Furthermore, the riders showed significantly higher levels of stress when an audience was present, confirming what was suspected: participation in equestrian events is associated with stage fright, even in experienced riders. There are many reasons why riders might be more stressed when performing in front of an audience than when they are practising for an event as Aurich says, "they are only human, after all." In contrast, the horses appeared not to be affected by the presence of spectators: their reaction to the course was essentially independent of whether an audience was present or not. In other words, the horses and their riders respond differently to the challenges posed by performing for spectators, with the horses not suffering from the increased levels of stress shown by their riders.

The results imply that the riders do not communicate their heightened anxiety to the animals. The lack of transfer of emotions between rider and horse was completely unexpected. Aurich concedes that "we started with the assumption that the rider's stress would affect his horse but this does not seem to be the case. Nevertheless, we should bear in mind that we were working with experienced horses and highly skilled riders: our findings cannot be generalized to inexperienced riders, who might be less able to prevent their horses from being stressed by the situation."


'/>"/>

Contact: Christine Aurich
christine.aurich@vetmeduni.ac.at
43-664-602-576-400
University of Veterinary Medicine -- Vienna
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Researchers make racehorses fertile
2. Study investigates headshaking in horses
3. WSU/USDA scientist creates test, treatment for malaria-like sickness in horses
4. Controlling gait of horses may be possible, says key study from Texas A&M
5. The end of an era? Branding horses does not enable them to be identified
6. Bend or stretch? How stressful is hyperflexion of horses necks?
7. Quick detection of periodontitis pathogens
8. Streams show signs of degradation at earliest stages of urban development
9. BioLife Solutions Products Now Used in More than 50 Clinical Trial-Stage Cellular Therapies
10. Test developed to detect early-stage diseases with naked eye
11. Dying trees in Southwest set stage for erosion, water loss in Colorado River
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/22/2016)...  The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics was ... as one of the fastest-growing trade shows during the Fastest ... in Las Vegas . ... in each of the following categories: net square feet of ... attendees. The 2015 ACMG Annual Meeting was ranked 23 out ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016   ... management and verification solutions, has partnered with ... software solutions for Visitor Management, Self-Service Kiosks ... provides products that add functional enhancements to ... provides corporations and venues with an automated ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... -- On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ... for the Biometric Exit Program. The Request for Information ... explains that CBP intends to add biometrics to confirm ... States , in order to deter visa overstays, ... Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160622/382209LOGO ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 On Wednesday, June 22, ... down 0.22%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.27% lower ... 2,085.45, down 0.17%. Stock-Callers.com has initiated coverage on the following ... Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR ), Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ... BIND ). Learn more about these stocks by accessing ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 22, 2016  Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ... QB3@953 life sciences incubator to accelerate the ... shared laboratory space at QB3@953 was created to help ... obstacle for many early stage organizations - access to ... sponsorship, Amgen launched two "Amgen Golden Ticket" awards, providing ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... 22, 2016  According to Kalorama Information, the ... (NGS) market include significant efforts in automation as ... accessible and affordable sequencers, say the healthcare market ... consumables including sample prep materials.  The healthcare market ... Preparation for Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) , highlights ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... ... June 21, 2016 , ... New light-based technologies that facilitate ... tissue — promise to enable both compact, wearable devices for point-of-care diagnostics as well ... the skin. , Recent work and visionary future directions are detailed in a new ...
Breaking Biology Technology: