music to my ears but is it to our horses - Equine environment Enrichment.

I've always been a music lover, I can't imagine not having music in my life, earlier on in my life I had a very simple taste in music, I was a rock chick plain and simple, anything with a  great drum beat, and guitar solo, as well as that rough singing voice that most male and some female rock stars have. But then about three years ago I became more aware of other styles of music, and started liking dubstep, rap, and dance club music like DJ Sammy but I also started liking chart music more as well! So you can imagine my delight when last winter I found out that I would be riding in a dressage to music competition. It wasn't an easy task and it was a paired competition, but disaster struck the night before, when my partner and me were practicing for the actual thing, and Jane came flying off :/ she hurt her shoulder which in the past year she had shattered and had got a metal plate in! But we kept trying it wasn't our best but we did the best that we could do, even though we came last. 

So today much like yesterday when I was reading my magazine and the confidence issue came up, an article about music and horses appeared in the magazine, it is quite a long article so I just picked out the bits that I thought were the most important and the bits that I thought I would like to focus on the most. Instead of doing the quote all in one, this time I am going to split it in to section taking one point at a time, and then focusing on it, then moving on to another, and so on. You get the picture :) Like yesterday my writing when I'm thinking about the quote will be the same one as I am using at this moment in time, and the quote will be in 'bold italics in this lilac colour'. I have done it like this so no one can get my thoughts mixed up with what the article does say but if anyone finds this confusing let me know and I will happily change it so that you guys can read it better. 

  • 'The use of music as a tool to improve welfare is an emerging enrichment technique - something riders and horse owners have been using inadvertently for years. It is quite common to find a radio or CD player on most yards, and music is a normal part of most yard workers' everyday routine. Music is thought to improve the working environment of the people of the people and there is growing that it can influence the horse, too' I've never really thought about music being played on a yard, but it has reminded me that whenever I go up to broomfield on a summer day, or when I used to volunteer at parkside and there was no-one around you would frequently find music playing more so at Broomfield than at Parkside. I know that a lot of people myself included use music to take our mind off things, well maybe it is the same thing, as Dressage to music is also becoming more and more popular.
  • 'Music with a faster tempo and a major key has been shown to produce happy emotions in humans, whereas a slow tempo and minor key produce sad emotion...Research has also shown that music produces 'feel-good' hormones in the same way that food does' I am not really going to analyse just say that I do agree with this and wonder if the same thing works in horses, what do you guys think? 
  • 'Research has only recently started into the area of music as equine environmental enrichment, and so far it has shown that country and western music increases the time horses spend eating during a stressful situation, while Jazz decreases it'. What are your thoughts on this do you believe that this would truly work? I know that this is something that I would like to try out when I get my own horse. I think its possible that it works because the music must stimulates the brain of the horse. 
  • 'Classical music was played to weanling foals, their heart rates dropped and they were more likely to rest or eat.' Another interesting fact, I find that this fact is something that would be more useful to a horse breeder. It could be played to a stressful foal, and help to stimulate the horse to relax, it is something that I would love to try out. Anyone got a foal I can try it on? Joking. Th e same results were also found when this was tested out on stabled horses/foals.
  • 'So all evidence suggests that music does affect the behaviour of horses and could be particularly useful in improving the welfare of horses stabled for long periods - for example, those on box rest after an injury or stabled for management purposes'. So when your horse next has an accident in a field (hopefully no time soon) or needs stabling to keep him calm will you try using music as a environmental enrichment technique? Even played quietly it has been proven to be more effective than nothing, while we have never considered how loudly or quietly, or what genre the music it is, in some way or another the music is affecting your horses, and in my opinion this is a good thing.
As an after thought what else is an environment enrichment for our horses here is just a few idea's of things that are, food, multiple forages (different things for our horse to get food out of) and finally stable mirrors (to replicate social interaction). Are these things that you would try?

Until Next Time
A Girl With A Dream.


Post a Comment

Hey everyone feel free to leave me a comment and let me know what you think of my blog, feel free to ask any questions. Anonymous comments are welcome to!
Thanks for stopping by!
A Girl With A Dream