News That Matters

Tag: caretakers

Understanding snorts can help horse caretakers improve animal welfare

Understanding snorts can help horse caretakers improve animal welfare

Science
July 11 (UPI) -- Horses snort more when they're comfortable and happy. The communication could help caretakers achieve more positive animal welfare outcomes. Proper care for animals involves minimizing stress. But how do caretakers know when animals are happy or bothered? Interpreting the emotions of horses can be especially difficult. Many behavioral signals displayed by horses are ambiguous, and studies of physiological signals have yielded contradictory results. Many horse owners and caretakers have noted an association between snorting and positive environments, but the connection hadn't been scientifically tested until now. Researchers in France monitored snorting frequency among 48 horses. Half were riding horses, kept in confined environs and separated in solitary stalls. The othe...