Have you ever thought about “jazzing up” your stables? Or rock ‘n’ roll your horses at the box? Better to reconsider your musical choices. According to British researchers, classical and country sounds are probably the best for the well-being of equines.
To test the effects of different types of music on box horses, Clare Carter, BSc, of Hartpury College in Gloucester, England, and her supervisor Linda Greening, MSc, also of Hartpury College, studied eight thoroughbred geldings that had been in the box for three hours. . They played four different types of music – classical (Beethoven), country (Hank Williams Jr.), rock (Green Day) and jazz (New Stories) – for 30 minutes each. The researchers recorded detailed behavioral observations (120 per horse per gender) according to an equine ethogram (a catalog of all the behaviors or actions exhibited by the horses). They also observed the behavior of the horses for 30 minutes without music. Greening presented the results of his study at the 2012 conference of the International Society for Equitation Science.
The couple determined that the horses exhibited the same balance of restful and alert behavior during classical and country music as when there was no music at all. But the difference between these types of music and silence was that with country, on average, horses tended to eat more calmly (a natural behavior that reflects calm and well-being, Carter said) than with the silence.
On the other hand, jazz and rock music have caused horses to display more frequent stressful behaviors (as compared to silence), indicated by stomping, head butting, sniffling and vocalizations (whinn