A Polish study found that Anglo Arabs took the longest to complete training stages when compared with Thoroughbreds and purebred Arabians.
The findings of the study, by researchers from the University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Poland, have been published online in the “Journal of Equine Veterinary Science”.
The objective of the study was to compare the responses of horses of different breeds to a sympathetic training method used during an initial training period, before the horses started their first racing season.
The researchers, Iwona Janczarek, Anna Stachurska, Witold Kędzierski, and Izabela Wilk, used 72 horses, comprising 24 Thoroughbreds, 24 purebred Arabians, and 24 Anglo Arabs.
Each breed group consisted of 12 colts and 12 fillies.
The sympathetic method used to train the horses lasted for three days in a row, with one session per day.
Training was divided into five stages, each stage made up of particular tasks to be achieved.
Each horse’s reaction to the training was measured with the length of time (in seconds) necessary to complete a stage and each horse’s heart rate during the stages.
The results were analyzed by using multifactorial analysis of variance, taking into account the effect of horse breed, sex, and training session.
Results showed that the horses of various breeds had different responses to the training.
The Anglo Arabs took the longest to complete the training stages, the researchers found.
The three-day training period caused the strongest reaction among the Anglo Arabs. The three-day period proved too short to allow for more than half of them to be mounted.
The researchers found that the heart rate was faster in purebred Arabian and Anglo Arab fillies than in colts during the training, indicating that fillies required particularly gentle treatment, they said.
The study is entitled, “Responses of Horses of Various Breeds to a Sympathetic Training Method”.
The abstract is available online at http://www.j-evs.com/article/S0737-0806(12)00923-9/abstract.