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Applying Equine Science: Research into Business

Applying Equine Science

Research into Business; edited by A Hemmings, P Harris, M Moore-Colyer, S Tracey, K Howells and A Northrop, British Society of Animal Science #35; Nottingham University Press. Softcover, 320pp. RRP £39.50. ISBN 9781904761143.

June 22, 2008

The 35th publication from the British Society of Animal Science focuses on equine business research, the result of collaboration between equine scientists and industry figures.

This book aims to bridge the gap between data collection and its application in the marketplace, with the horse's wellbeing the priority.

The BSAS is an organisation whose membership includes experts in research, education, commerce, and industry. The society held its first conference on horses in 2003 and this book forms part of those proceedings.

The 11 main studies cover a range of breeding and husbandry issues, including

Following this is more than 30 additional studies on a wide variety of topics. There are several on nutrition, and others on behavioural issues.

For example, 'Factors affecting mutual grooming and play behaviour in a group of domestic horses' found that, among other things, play behaviour was most affected by gender, but time of day also had an influence. Another study is on 'Personal space requirements of mares versus geldings', and the welfare implications of this.

Other interesting tests were into the texture preferences and colour preferences of horses. Overall the most popular texture was the very rough stippled plastic surface, and yellow was the most popular colour.

Several studies cover competition areas, including 'Event horse breeding, does it pay?', 'Dressage scoring patterns at a pre-Novice event', and 'Non-completing horses within the cross-country phase of selected advanced level eventing competitions: the effect of rider gender and 'course toughness'.'

Another interesting topic explores the relationship between facial whorl direction and sidedness in ridden horses, and another looks at the heritable components of crib-biting.

Two studies focusing on the Polish arabian horse are included, with one looking at the changes in the height of the horses and of the circumference of the girth and the cannon bone. It would appear that since 1931 and up to 1999 Polish arabians are getting taller but their girth and cannon bones are not increasing proportionally.



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