Classical and country music are probably best for equine welfare

april_may_armstrongEver thought of “jazzing” up your stables? Or getting your horses to “rock ‘n’ roll” in the stall? Better reconsider your music choices. According to British researchers, classical and country sounds are probably best for equine welfare.

To test the effects of different kinds of music on stabled horses, Clare Carter, BSc, of Hartpury College in Gloucester, England, and her supervisor Linda Greening, MSc, also of Hartpury College, studied eight Thoroughbred geldings that had been stabled for three hours. They played four different kinds of music–classical (Beethoven), country (Hank Williams Jr.), rock (Green Day), and jazz (New Stories)–for 30 minutes each. The researchers recorded detailed behavior observations (120 per horse per genre) according to an equine ethogram (a catalogue of all behaviors or actions exhibited by horses). They also observed the horses’ behavior for 30 minutes without music. Greening presented the results of their study at the 2012 conference of the International Society for Equitation Science.

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