LOCOMOTION PATTERNS OF STALL WALKING IN THOROUGHBRED HORSES
Lisandro Muñoz Alonzo1*, Ronald Rodríguez Riffo1, María Cordero Laurie2, Jaime Cruces Leal1, y Mario Briones Luengo2
There are few studies on locomotion patterns of horses and the amounts of time they spend stall walking. The objective of this study was to describe the locomotion patterns of horses performing stall walking. The time animals spent in this stereotype was also recorded. Ten thoroughbred racehorses residing in the Club Hípico de Concepción and exhibiting stall walking behavior were recorded continuously in their own stalls from 15:00-18:00 over two days in a row. Locomotion patterns (direction and gait) and time spent (loops per hour walking around the stall and duration of each round) were described. Nine of ten horses (90%) showed a unique locomotion pattern inside the stall, such as walking or trotting in only one direction around the stall without stopping; walking in only one direction around the stall and stopping at the door; walking in one direction around the stall and stopping at the door and in a corner different from the door; walking in one direction and stopping eventually in four locations of the stall; and walking forming an eight by the wall opposite to the door. Just one of the horses performed two types of patterns. Mean stall walking time was 31.4 ± 22.3 min during the observation period. The results indicate that, under similar management conditions, thoroughbred horses performed different locomotion patterns. Besides, the time horses spent performing stall walking ranged between 3.9% and 41.7% of the observation time. No increase of stall walking frequency was observed before feeding time.
Key words: stereotypic behavior, stall walking, box walking, equines, horses
1 Departamento de Ciencias Clínicas, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Universidad de Concepción, Victoria 495, Concepción, Chile.
2 Departamento de Ciencia Animal, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Universidad de Concepción, Av. Vicente Méndez 595, Chillán, Chile.
* Corresponding author E-mail: [email protected]