Equine Behaviour and Welfare

This course is designed to introduce equine behaviour with particular emphasis on the effect of environment on both the behaviour and welfare of the developing and adult horse.


Horse grazing

20 credits.

Course leader

Dr Sebastian McBride

Short description of course

Issues surrounding abnormal equine behaviour are discussed and the primary concepts of animal learning and how they can be applied to equine training will also be presented.

The course will also deal with behaviour at the neurophysiological level as a way of improving, through a mechanistic approach, an understanding of specific equine behaviours from both a causal and functional perspective.

Learning outcomes

  1. Understand the natural behaviour of equids.
  2. Recognise the different behaviours of the developing and adult equid in various domestic environments.
  3. Understand how animal learning theory can be applied to the training of the horse.
  4. Have a knowledge of the neurophysiology underlying normal and abnormal goal-directed equine behaviour.
  5. Discuss the methods used to assess the welfare of equids.
  6. Appreciate the specific welfare issues associated with working equids.
  7. Evaluate the current research in equine behaviour and welfare.