Thursday, April 29, 2010

Isolated Yearlings Learn Better, Says French Study - Full Article

by: Christa Lesté-Lasserre
April 26 2010, Article # 16234

When a yearling is separated for a few days from other horses for practical reasons, it's a great opportunity to get in some good quality training with that youngster, according to a new study by French equine behavior researchers.
yearling learning

A yearling explores a new object in the testing area.

Yearling colts and fillies housed in individual stalls over a period of 11 days were easier to train to walk and back up on command than their counterparts housed in group stalls, said Lea Lansade, PhD. A researcher at the laboratory of behavior, neurobiology, and adaptation of the INRA-CNRS (French national agricultural research institution) at Nouzilly, Lansade is the primary author of the study. The yearlings also responded more calmly to new sights and sounds as well as sudden surprises, and they showed fewer signs of separation anxiety (whinnies, trotting, and frequent defecation) during training sessions.

"A few days' separation at this age seems to make the yearlings less emotional, which makes them more attentive to the humans training them," Lansade said...

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