Horse Behavior


  • George Waring, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL, USA

First published in 1983, the second edition of this informative book remains the most comprehensive and current overview of the behavioral traits and adaptations of horses. The book integrates findings from hundreds of international researchers to provide the reader a factual synthesis of the behavior of domestic and feral horses. Building on the strengths of the first edition, the author has thoroughly updated coverage of horse ancestry, development, perception, learning, play, social behavior, behavioral manipulation, maintenance activities, and sexual behavior. In this second edition more emphasis has been given to animal husbandry and management. Additionally, the second edition includes an all-new section on ecological influences on activity patterns, habitat utilization, social behavior and reproduction. An expanded section on applied ethology provides behavioral considerations for management and insight regarding the behavioral indicators of horse health and well being. This is followed with an updated appendix listing behavioral symptoms and possible causes. The text contains numerous tables and nearly 100 illustrations and photos.
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Animal scientists, veterinarians, horse breeders, agricultural and zoological managers and handlers, animal behaviorists, and horse enthusiasts worldwide.


Book information

  • Published: December 2002
  • ISBN: 978-0-8155-1484-8


"The coverage in the book is incredibly broad, thorough and detailed." - Cheryl Asa, Director of Research, St. Louis Zoo

Table of Contents

Introduction Ancestry of the Horse Perception and Orientation Motor PatternsBehavioral Development Ontogeny of Behavior Patterns Play Investigative Behavior Learning and MemoryMaintenance Activities Resting and Sleep Ingestive Behavior Eliminative Behavior Comfort BehaviorReproductive Behavior Sexual Behavior of Stallions Sexual Behavior of Mares Maternal BehaviorSocial Behavior Social Organization Social Attachment Home Range and Territoriality Social Dominance Agonistic Behavior Communicative BehaviorEcological Influences Interaction of Horses and Their Environment Ecological Influences on Reproduction and Social BehaviorApplied Ethology in Horse Care and Management Behavioral Considerations in Horse Management Behavioral Manipulation Behavioral Indicators Relevant to Health and Well-BeingAppendix Variety of Behavioral Symptoms and Possible Problems Indicated