Three German equine scientists have launched a video channel to debunk horse behaviour myths and answer some of the most common questions asked by horse owners.
The team includes Germany’s first professor of equine science and specialist in horse behaviour and cognition, Konstanze Krüger, and two of her former PhD students, horse trainer and instructor Isabell Marr, and veterinarian and equine dentist Laureen Esch. Their combined expertise gives unique insights into equine science and its practical application.
The first four videos on their new YouTube channel, Equine Science Talk International, are live and more are being added regularly. Its ultimate aim is to become a video library of everything a horse owner needs to know about equine behaviour.
The trio acknowledges that, because a horse doesn’t think like a human, unravelling their reasoning and working out the best way to act and to respond can be quite a challenge. But where do horse owners go to find answers that are based on science rather than opinion and myth?
Topics in the spotlight include the often-misunderstood relationship between punishment and reinforcement, the real meaning of positive and negative in these contexts, and how these concepts work together in everyday situations.
They also tackle the regularly debated topic of rugging and clipping, explaining the science of what these do to the horse’s body and reveal how and when horses themselves choose to be rugged. Other topics include the hot controversy surrounding “low deep and round” and rollkur/hyperflexion, and why horses react so differently on the left and on the right.
Krüger became Germany’s first Professor of Equine Management at the Nürtingen-Geisslingen University in 2012. Her main areas of research are the behaviour of wild-living horses, and social learning and social cognition in horses.
Esch is a qualified veterinary surgeon, specialising in equine dentistry. Her doctoral thesis was on equine behaviour, something she has plenty of opportunities to study in real-life situations while attending to horses’ teeth.
Marr qualified as a stable manager before moving on to study animal biology and biomedical sciences. She works as a western riding trainer.
The videos have been translated from the original German by Austrian-based journalist Kate Farmer, a horse trainer and independent equine behaviour researcher.
» Visit the Equine Science Talk International YouTube channel.