Friday, 29 June 2012


This post is another one of the behaviour posts and is about equine temperament.

When looking at temperament it can be referred to as a horse's personality, individualist and emotionality. It is consistent over time so what you see in early life you will see later on (Manteca and Deag, 1993).

When looking at temperament in horses it may be predictive of psychological and physical performance traits. Therefore temperament testing may be used when selecting horses for competition.

Lansade et al (2008) looked at temperament in the horse. Behavioural tests have been developed to measure certain aspects of a horse's temperament. They wanted to measure temperament more precisely. They measured the horses' responses to different stimuli. They also repeated the tests 5 months later to make sure the reactions were consistent over time. The stimuli were designed to cause reactions from the horses' different senses, for example, their reaction to the smell of cinnamon. Correlations were seen between how horses reacted to similar stimuli using the same sense but differences were seen when looking at different senses. Except for the response to odour, the responses to the other sensory stimuli remained stable over the 5 month period. Therefore some of these methods may be used in a temperament test.

Selecting for optimal temperament. 
Temperament is determined by an interaction of the environment with the genes of the horse. They can choose to breed horses that are of a good temperament, this selection can be predictive from a young age or may be chosen at an older age. Genetic and behavioural tests can be used for this.

Factors such as flightiness may be advantageous when selecting for a racehorse but may cause problems in a dressage horse.

Temperament testing
The rate of habituation (see last weeks post on learning and training) between breeds may be a useful predictor of temperament. Arabs have been found to habituate faster for example.

Looking at one factor to explain the temperament such as vocalisation may not be reliable as temperament is a multidimensional construct. You need to look at a range of traits and combine the score. There are problems with how the data from these results are dealt with however.

Studies have found at least two consistent personality dimensions. These are sensitivity to aversion, this is the flightiness of the horse and is often assessed with their reaction to a novel object, social isolation or handling. The second is sensitivity to reward, this may be looked at with regards to exploratory behaviour in behavioural tests.

Mood and emotional state have also been suggested to affect how the horse performs. Studies using heart rate variability suggests mood/emotional state may be measurable in the horse (Rietmann et al., 2004) 

Temperament traits need to be defined in a standardised way. Some studies are starting to find predictors of performance. Mood and Emotional state is an area for future investigation.

Love Laura

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Horse T-Shirts!

Here are some horsey themed T shirts I have seen and liked recently!

First is this Buckaroo T shirt from TruffleShuffle. It is £20. Click here!

The next T shirt is from Dorothy Perkins and is £16.

This top is by Firetrap but can be bought from NewLook for £23, reduced from £33. It also comes in grey.

I recently bought the top below from an outlet shop in South Wales for £15. I really like it and thought it would fit in with this post well although I can't find a link to it.

Love Laura

Monday, 25 June 2012

London 2012 Dressage Team Announced

Today it has been announced that on team GB for the dressage at London 2012 are  Carl HesterLaura Bechtolsheimer and Charlotte Dujardin. I think this is an amazing team! We also have another rider who will be competing as an individual called Richard Davison (rider profile coming soon!).

Love Laura

Sunday, 24 June 2012

GB Rider Profile; Tina Cook

Tina Cook was recently announced to be in the London 2012 Olympic Eventing team. Tina has been eventing full-time since the age of sixteen. She has a number of achievements in eventing including an team gold 2010 World Equestrian Games , 2009 European Championship team and individual gold and team and individual bronze in the 2008 Olympics all on her horse Miners Frolic.

Tina Cook also recently won the St Patrick's Day Derby at Cheltenham festival horse race showing she is talented in a number of areas. He Father was once a National Hunt Jockey. He Mother was also a successful show jumper.

(Getty images)

Here is an interview with her with her tips from the Beijing 2008 Olympics. She talks about the ways she warms her horses up for the different disciplines.

(These images do not belong to me).

Love Laura

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Guest Post; How To Find A Farrier

Today I have another guest post, this one is from a farrier named David Barker. He runs a website which is a directory of farriers across the United States and Canada featuring profiles, biographies, photos, training and qualifications. There is also a farrier blog on the website which is very interesting! He has written about how to find a farrier for your horse.

When you need a farrier for your horses, one of the best places to find one is through family or friends. If you are new to an area or you are disappointed with the farrier service you have been using, recommendations from other people are the best way to find a new farrier.

One of the first places to look is their certifications. What degree do they possess? What initials follow their name? You can research this information on the internet at the American Farriers Association. This site lists all licensed farriers in North America. Once you have identified a farrier as a possibility for your needs, you should phone them up and discuss your needs with them, in order to determine if he/she is the right choice for you and your horses.

A dedicated farrier will have no problem answering your questions and addressing your concerns. The perfect candidate will be able to discuss the newest technology available to farriers. He will also be a professional who commits himself to ongoing education in his chosen field and will be happy to explain his qualifications and expertise.

Check out the farrier’s equipment. Is it new and in good condition? Your farrier should be on-call 24/7 in case of emergency. Even if you must leave a message when he is on another job, he should call you back promptly. It is not like this is a job he can stop in the middle of to answer the phone. If you do not receive a call back within a reasonable time frame, it may be best to look elsewhere for your farrier services.

When the farrier you decide upon is already working an overload of clients, try asking him to recommend someone else. Since a recommendation from a farrier reflects upon his own reputation, you may be assured that you are getting a quality referral. You may even be lucky enough to get another farrier which he has trained.

The health and longevity of your horse can depend on the quality of care that your farrier provides. Even though price may be an issue, keep in mind that saving money is not the only concern. The cost should fall into an accepted range for the area in which you procure the farrier’s service. If the price is just too cheap to be true, you may want to look elsewhere for farrier service.

Take plenty of time to evaluate the available choices, ask lots of questions and research the farrier’s credentials. When you have identified the right farrier for the job, then it is time to make an appointment for your horse’s new shoes.

Hope you all enjoyed this guest post! I found it very interesting and finding the right farrier is of a very high importance!
Love Laura

Friday, 22 June 2012

Learning And Training

In the past I have written a short post on the learning theory and Parelli. This post is further going to discuss learning and training in the horse.

When training a horse it is important to take into account the way they learn. This will lead to more effective training strategies.

This is the waning of a response due to repeated stimulus presentations, not followed by any form of reinforcement. For example, the horse may get less scared of an object after seeing it for a number of times. This is also affected by the temperament of the horse.

Christensen et al (2006) looked at responses of horses in frightening situations and said they are important for both equine and human safety. Their objectives were to investigate which of 3 different training methods (habituation, desensitisation and counter-conditioning) was most effective in teaching horses to react calmly in a potentially frightening situation. In the habituation condition, horses were exposed to a carrier bag in training sessions until they were habituated. In the desensitisation group they were gradually introduced to the stimulus and habituated to each step before they moved on. In the counter-conditioning group they were trained to associate the stimulus with a positive reward.

Horses trained with the desensitisation method showed fewer flight responses in total and needed fewer training sessions to learn to react calmly to the carrier bag. In addition, all horses on the desensitisation method eventually habituated to the test stimulus whereas some horses on the other methods did not. Desensitisation appeared to be the most effective training method for horses in frightening situations.

Classical conditioning
This is when there is an unconditioned response (reflex)(UCR) to a specific stimulus such as food. An association is made between the unconditioned stimulus (UCS) and a conditioned stimulus (CS) to produce a conditioned response. This is also called Pavlovian conditioning. This can be better explained when looking at Pavolv's dogs the stimuli were as follows; food (UCS), salivation (UCR), bell sounded (CS). They were conditioned to salivate when the bell sounded as they associated this with the food. 

Operant conditioning
This is an extension of classical conditioning and is The foundation of equine training. It is not necessary that they understand what to do at first, they use trial and error with reinforcement which increases the likelihood of them performing the behaviour. It becomes a conditioned response to a conditioned stimulus. 

There are 3 stages to learning;
1. Pavlovian acquisition- link between external stimuli. What they have done and a reward. 
2. Action outcome.  They monitor the actions and the rewards.
3. Habitual responding- habit is formed and there is stimulus response learning. More like a reflex. Not monitoring it in the same level. You can get errors because you are not fully registering it.

Main problem with positive reinforcement is that there is only so much you can get the animal to do. You can get a sense of how much they enjoy something or how much they want to avoid it by how much work they will do for you (if the costs outways the benefits).  The horse has evolved a social structure from both positive and negative reinforcement but largely negative. So from an evolutionary perspective they have evolved for negative reinforcement. Therefore this may be more effective. When discussing negative reinforcement an example is applying the leg aids to a horse then releasing them when they perform the movement, the reward is the releasing of pressure. 

The intelligence of animals is difficult to assess. Intelligence may be shown when the animal learns to ignore irrelevant stimuli, just as it also learns to react to significant stimuli.Maze tests have been used to measure the learning ability. They are good because they are used without human presence. Foals have been found to learn quicker than their dam.

Training generally means drawing out desirable behaviours and suppressing undesirable innate behaviours to institute novel behaviours. The aim of training is to install signals that result in predictable behaviour patterns.

Clicker training is an example of a use of secondary reinforcers. The animal expects a reward after the clicker. This bridges the gap between the animal performing the behaviour and receiving the primary reward. 

There are welfare implications in failing to identify adequately the mental abilities of all animals in the care of humans. Overestimating an animals mental ability must be seen as a major welfare issue when it manifests as abuse, wastage, stress and conflict behaviours.

Love Laura

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Donkey Sanctuary Phone Sock

I am writing this blog post on my phone as I thought I would try out the app, if the post ends up looking different then that is why!

I wanted to show you all my new phone sock which I bought from the The Donkey Sanctuary gift shop! It is so cute and fits my iPhone perfectly. All of the phone sock are different as they are made by volunteers so it is a surprise what yours will look like! You could choose the colour so I went for light grey I think! It was only £3.75 with free postage!

I have also just ridden Trooper and is breathing is much better! I am sure this is party due to giving him Winergy Ventilate as this seemed to give a rapid improvement last time as well. Over the next two weeks I am going to be away from home so will not get to ride him. My Mum is going to ride him the first week and hopefully a friend will the second week!

Love Laura

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Trooper Photos

Here are the photos I promised yesterday. As we can all see Trooper is getting a big belly and I am trying very hard to cut down his feed and exercise him every day but he just lives of fresh air! He isn't as fat as he got last summer though!

Below are a selection of photos from earlier. If he is looking even shinier than usual it is because he had a bath this morning! He is tired during the day at the moment as he is out over night and I think he must spend the whole time eating, so please excuse him looking a bit dopey in a lot of these photos! The the skewbald on some of the photos is Splash, he is kept in the same field as Trooper. Also I have now decided Trooper is 23 years old as he was born in '89 and I guess that would have been in the spring. He is still amazing for his age!

Love Laura

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Trooper Is Too Fat!

Sorry I have no new photos again to go with this post, been very busy! I have found an old one on my computer so you can see Trooper's pretty face. I have been trying to ride Trooper as much as possible so he can lose some weight so I booked the indoor arena again today. Luckily the sprinklers were not on this time so I was able to work him a bit harder!

Unfortunately he was struggling a bit with his breathing. I think this is because he has put weight on (I will get a photo tomorrow and show you!). He still has the dimple bit above his eyes but his girth has been let down a hole.

I was just working on his fitness rather than schooling him. He could trot for long periods of time but was struggling in canter. His breathing was also very loud so I kept walking him to get his breath back.

I have also been practising some sitting trot with stirrups. I haven't done this at all recently as I didn't want to put extra pressure on his leg after his tendon injury, touch wood, his leg seems fine now so I thought it would be OK to work on my sitting trot a bit. My legs were aching the next day though.

I have decided to put him back on winergy ventilate for a while. Last time we started him on this we saw an improvement within days so hopefully this will help.

I am going back to Wales on Friday to collect the last of my horse poo samples for my dissertation and drive them to Aberystwyth Uni to be kept in the lab freezer! I will then be doing the lab work for a few weeks in July if everything goes to plan. I am currently writing a review on the studies that have already been carried out looking at the effect wormers have on microbes, particularly those in the equine hindgut. There is not much information on this currently so I am having to start off quite broad with my research. I guess it means it is a good area to look into though as a lot is still unknown.

Love Laura

Monday, 18 June 2012

Riding In The Sprinklers

Trooper has put weight on in the past week. The grass in the field is getting very long and as I can't ride in the outdoor arena at the moment as we are getting a new surface I am not getting chance to ride him as much. I booked a slot to ride him in the indoor arena other day and when I got in there the sprinklers were on in the corners at the far end of the school. I went to tell the farmer and he said they should be going off soon and to ride around them.

After a few minutes of circling at the bottom end of the arena they went off. Then shortly after a clunking noise happened and more sprinklers came on! This time at the end I had bee circling at. Trooper did spook a bit but I think it just made him jump. I then had to ride at the other end of the school.

To cut a long story short I had to ride for around 20 minutes dodging various sprinklers that were on a set timer. Towards the end they actually went off and I was able to go large and canter.

I was practising some sitting trot with stirrups and some turn on the forehand. He was going really nicely but started to cough a bit after I had cantered. I think this is because he has put on weight and he has bad breathing. I measured him with the weight tape and he was around 494 kg, he was previously 484 kg. I am going to try and ride him as much as I can to get him back down to his previous weight which hopefully wont take too long with a bit of schooling. I am also hoping the spring grass has reached it's peak now.

Love Laura

Sunday, 17 June 2012

GB Rider Profile; William Fox-Pitt

William Fox-Pitt has recently been selected for the GB eventing team for the 2012 Olympics. He is currently ranked number 1 in the world in the HSBC rankings. When watching eventing William Fox-Pitt always stands out as he is very tall! He is definitely one to look out for if you a new spectator to eventing and he has a number of achievements at a high level of eventing.William has ridden from a young age and came from a family in which both parents competed in eventing.


William's achievements include being part of the bronze winning team at the Beijing Olympics and part of the Olympic team at Athens 2004 that won a silver medal. He won a team gold medal and an individual silver medal at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010. In 2011 he became the first rider to win five different four star events having won Burghley Horse Trials six times and winning once at each of Badminton Horse Trials, Rolex Kentucky Three Day, Luhmuhlen Horse Trials and the Stars of Pau.

Below is an interview with him after he won the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI **** on Parklane hawk.

William Fox-Pitt has his own website (click here!). This is what he said on his website after being selected for the games; "I received exciting news last night that I have been selected for the British team for London 2012.  I have been selected on Lionheart as my first choice with Neuf Des Coeurs and Parklane Hawk as my equal second reserves and I am now very fortunate to have Bay My Hero as a reserve to them.".

(I do not own these photos).

Love Laura

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Guest Post; How A Farrier Would treat A Horse With A Hoof Abscess?

Today I have a guest post for you written by Rebecca. Rebecca works for Anything Equine Store, providing helpful advice and tips to beginner riders. Rescuing many horse in the past has given Rebecca a lot of experience and knowledge when dealing with equestrian health conditions. 

A farrier is someone who specialises in the care of horses’ hooves including trimming the hooves and putting on horseshoes. It is important for horses’ hooves to be trimmed regularly so they are balanced and properly oriented to the ground. When horses are required to perform difficult tasks involving heavy workloads or have medical conditions concerning their hooves, horseshoes may be required to protect the hooves. In the UK a Farrier would have to be registered to work and have the appropriate training as working on any animals’ hooves without being registered could be considered abuse. 

A major condition that may require the assistance of a farrier is a hoof abscess. A hoof abscess is a bacterial infection found within the sensitive tissues of the foot. Pus is produced due the horse’s body’s immune response to the bacteria. The pus accumulates within the layers of the hoof wall and since those structures are rigid and cannot expand, the pressure produced causes pain. If left untreated the abscess will follow the hoof wall and eventually break through the coronary band or the bulbs of the heel. The pain causes lameness and the horse will resist bearing weight on the affected limb.

An abscess can be caused by a sharp object penetrating the sole of the hoof, decreased blood flow to the corium, or by bacteria collecting in the fissures and cracks of the white line. The most common causes are bacterial infiltration and moisture into the hoof and through corium or lateral cartilage compression.

To treat an abscess, the horseshoe (if present) is removed and the hoof is thoroughly cleaned. Once the location and point of entry of the abscess is located, a hole is created in the sole of the hoof to allow the pus to drain. If the abscess is too deep, the abscess will be allowed to progress to the coronary band to drain. Whether a hole is made or not, an Epsom salt poultice should be applied to the affected hoof. The Epsom salt draws the abscess and aids in removing the bacteria from the hoof. After being treated with a poultice, the hoof is wrapped in a treatment boot to cushion and protect it from dirt.

To prevent the chances of a horse developing an abscess, a regular schedule of trimming the hooves is necessary and should be co-ordinated with a farrier. Often hooves that are not kept well trimmed and balanced are more prone to abscesses.

Having a farrier regularly trim and balance a horse’s hooves helps to keep the horse healthy, prevent pain, and lameness. Approximately 60 per cent of a horse’s body weight is supported by the horse’s forelimb and hoof, demonstrating the importance of having healthy limbs and having shoes properly fitted. When a horse becomes lame, often the farrier is called before the veterinarian. Using a farrier to help maintain the health of a horse will prevent many diseases and conditions that could lead to lameness or worse.

Thank you very much for your post Rebecca, it is very interesting and is great advice for people that may be dealing with hoof abscesses. The
Anything Equine Store website also has a wide variety of blog posts so if you enjoyed this one go and take a look! I particularly like one of the posts on equine biomechanics.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Head Shaking

This week's behaviour post is on head shaking. There are many possible causes to this which makes it such a complex problem.

There is a strong emphasis on careful examination of the individual horse when they are showing head shaking behaviours. Head shaking is a clinical condition but the problem is that it may be due to other causes such as unwillingness to accept the bit. It can also be due to stereotypy in some horses. Therefore caution must be taken when diagnosing it.

Head shaking may be accompanied by excessive snorting, nasal or ocular discharge, striking at the nose or face with the foreleg and frequent attempts to rub the nose or face on the foreleg or on objects or along the ground (Madigan and Bell, 2001). The majority of head shaking is seasonal, beginning in the spring and ending in the autumn.

There may be a seasonal link to it as well. It is said that there are 58 possible causes (Cook, 1980). Factors that commonly were found to cause it include Trigeminal neuraligia and allergic rhinitis and occasional factors include ear and harvest mites, guttural pouch mycosis and equine protozoal myeloencephalitits.

When looking at the Trigeminal neuraligia, this involves the nerves in the horse's head. There are three major branches. This would possible explain the positive effects a bitless bridle has on head shaking. Covering the eyes has also been found to help. This may be due to photic sensitivity similar to the photic sneeze seen in humans. This again relates the the nerves in the face.

When looking at allergic rhinitis a nose net is often used and has been found to help. There is speculation as to how this is working however. It may be acting as a filter or it may be reducing turbulence of air which would link back to it being caused by the nerves. Over 75% of horses were found to improve when using a nose net in one trial. It was most effective on vertical head shaking, nose flipping, shaking at exercise or when excited, shaking in the sun and nose rubbing behaviours.

"With wide acceptance that many horses with idiopathic headshaking are likely to be suffering from a trigeminal neuropathy, rather than being badly behaved. It enables us to move forward with applied research in neurophysiological and clinical science and also adds to the weight of information relating to the need for therapeutic relief of suffering in these unfortunate animals. This disease now requires research to determine its underlying pathophysiology in order to then allow targeted research into treatments" (Roberts, 2011).

Love Laura

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Tired Trooper

Trooper is out over night now and as it was a nice day we thought we would leave him out for the day as well. We went to the farm around midday to hoping to ride around the roads. We arrived find him and Joe laying down in the field. He didn't want to get up and we felt mean making him so we left him to sleep. He has put weight on in the past two weeks however so he will definitely be ridden tomorrow!

Unfortunately, this was the one time I forgot to take my camera after I have been taking it all through the bad weather recently and not being able to take any nice photographs. I had my phone with me so here are some of the photos of me and my Mum with Troops (and Joe in the background). The quality has actually turned out OK!

Love Laura

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

GB Rider Profile; Zara Phillips

I have decided to do an extra rider profile this week on Zara Phillips. It has recently been announced that she has made it onto Team GB for the eventing. She also recently was one of the carriers of the Olympic torch on her retired horse ToyTown.

Credit; LOCOG via Getty Images

In the past, Zara has been very unlucky with Olympic selections with her horses being injured at the wrong time. The horse she will be riding in the Olympics is called High Kingdom. She also currently has a number of other good horses such as Lord Lauries and Silver Lining V.

I am sure you all know Zara is also a member of the royal family. She is the granddaughter of the Queen and cousin to William and Harry. In her private life she married a rugby player, Mike Tindall, who played for England.

I remember going to watch Gatcombe Horse Trials and Zara was there. Zara's mother is Princess Anne who lives at Gatcombe Park which has a big cross country course. We were watching the dressage ring and suddenly became surround by photographers taking her picture as she entered the ring. Her father, Captain Mark Philips won Olympic Gold Medals for eventing and helps to train the USA eventing team.

Zara has a number of great achievements in the sport. She won a gold medal on ToyTown at the World Equestrian Games in 2006, she also was on the eventing team at the same event gaining a silver medal. She recently was placed 3rd at Bramham Horse trials and over the years has been highly placed in a number of 3* events. In 2006 she was voted BBC Sport's Personality of the Year by the British public.

Below is a video showing interviewing Zara showing clips of her riding. It is an old video from 2008 but at the end she shows her Olympic horse High Kingdom and says "remember that name"! Seems like even four years ago she knew he would be a great horse. I am glad that Zara has got another good horse to ride after ToyTown, he was a great horse and she was very upset when she retired him.

Zara Philips is definitely one of the people's favourites when watching eventing. She will also hopefully bring a higher profile to the sport over the Olympics!

(I do not own these images or video).

Love Laura

Olympic Eventing Team Selected

If you follow me on Twitter (@Laura_C_H)  , you may have seen my tweet yesterday linking to a news article about the Team GB Eventers being selected.

Those that have made the team are Zara Philips, Tina Cook, William Fox-Pitt, Piggy French and Mary King. I think this is a great team of riders! I will be focusing on those three who I have yet to do a rider profile for on the coming Sundays!

I am back at home now so some Trooper photos and updates will also be coming soon!

Love Laura

Sunday, 10 June 2012

GB Rider Profile; Charlotte Dujardin

This week I will be talking about dressage rider Charlotte Dujardin. She is currently ranked 5th in the world on her horse Valegro. She is from Gloustershire and is 25 years old and won the World Cup event at Olympia in December and was part of the Great Britain team that won European gold in Rotterdam.

She has two top horses, Valegro, a 9 year old gelding owned by Carl Hester and Roly Luard and another horse called Fernandez, an 11 year old chestnut gelding. On these two horses she has won a number of Grand Prix Specials in the past two years. Her trainer is Carl Hester. 

She has a website but it is still being developed. Maybe by the time you read this it will be ready. Hopefully Charlotte Dujardin is another one of our Team GB riders that will have a good chance of performing well in the Olympics!

Love Laura

Friday, 8 June 2012

Crib Biting

I was going to write one post on stereotypy behaviours in horses but I have so much information that I am going to write a few shorter ones instead. This post will be on crib biting and I will write another one next week on head shaking. I might even write another one after that!

Crib biting is when a horse bites onto something, leans back and contracts the muscles. It has been found to develop from an early age and has been suggested to be caused by the animal's behavioural need to suckle at weaning. 

It has been seen for over a hundred years but it is still not clearly understood. It used to be considered to be due to idleness, lack of social contact and the restrictive nature of the stable environment. These factors are still considered today but in terms of frustration, boredom or stress seen in the animal. There are many theories into the causes of crib biting.

Feeding concentrates theory
Once the behaviour has been established, it is often seen after the horse has been fed. This is particularly when they have highly palatable feeds such as cereal-based concentrates which are high in starch. These reduce the pH in the caecum due to the mircrobes that break down the food working rapidly to produce volatile fatty acids. It has been speculated that this lower acidity in the gut leads to crib biting. When the horse crib bites it produced more saliva which will change the pH in the gut and prevent it from being as acidic. 

This theory was developed after giving horses virginiamycin supplements which prevented the normal decrease in pH after feeding concentrates and significantly reduced crib biting behaviours. Other studies have also looked at giving horses ant-acid tablets and have found similar effects. 

Brain dysfunction
Research has suggested that stereotypies  may be caused by a dysregulation of the basal ganglia in the brain. Dysfunctions in this area also show when a horse is demonstrating differences carrying out a learning task. Therefore several studies have showed a link between inappropriate repeat responding and stereotypy behaviours. An example of this has been seen in a trial where horses were rewarded for pressing a button. They then stopped rewarding them and counted how many times they pressed the button before they gave up. Crib biting horses demonstrated increased perseverance suggesting they had alterations in basal ganglia physiology. 

More work is still needed to be carried out to better understand crib biting. When this knowledge has been gained this will lead to an improved management of horses with regards to preventing crib biting behaviours.

Love Laura
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