Med. Weter. 79 (2), 65-71, 2023

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Possibilities of reducing fearfulness and stress in horses by prophylactic methods and behavioural therapies
The aim of this review was to present the possibilities of minimizing fearfulness and stress in horses by various prophylactic and therapeutic methods. The teaching techniques mentioned in the article (imprint training, habituation, desensitization, counterconditioning) can be successfully used not only during the early development of human-horse interaction, but also during the therapeutic treatment of undesired and stereotypic behaviours. Horses’ activity in the paddock and/or stable can be increased by different types of environmental enrichment (feeding, social, sensory, occupational and physical enrichment). Such environmental variety has a positive influence on equine welfare and can prevent the development of problematic behaviour. Animals living in a highly enriched environment and properly interacting with humans react with lower intensity to environmental stimuli. All these factors have a positive effect on the quality of the human-horse relationship, making the everyday maintenance and use of horses easier and safer.
Keywords: animal welfare, behaviour, fear, horse, stress