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Understanding your Horse's Behaviour

by Sue McDonnell; Eclipse Press. 144pp, RRP $US16.95 (softcover). ISBN 1-58150-128-5.

December 22, 2005

Why do they do the things they do? Even if you think you know it all and have seen it all, you can always learn something from someone.

The study of horse behaviour is in vogue - we all want to know what's inside our horses' head, to make ourselves safer and to make them happier.

I can almost guarantee that you'll find out something you didn't know from reading this book. It's written in a question and answer format, in a chatty, informal style that means you don't need a degree to understand what's being said.

It is broken into eight chapters, including: change in disposition; fears; handling and transportation; personality, cognition and learning; social and food-related aggression; can horses be carnivorous; breeding behaviour; and why does my horse do this?

The carnivorous chapter is interesting, with several cases being put to Dr McDonnell.

Questions from throughout the book cover a range of behaviour, including topics relating to shy breeders, fighting for food, pawing and cribbing, catching, dropping hay in water, panic attacks, and much more. The answers demonstrate how to correct these behaviours, and explain why they occur.

Questions and answers from the book originally appeared in the US magazine The Horse: Your Guide to Equine Health Care.

This is a useful addition to anyone wanting to learn more on equine behaviour, especially those who are new to horses, but the old hands will learn a thing or two as well.



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