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Auditive Discrimination of Equine Gaits by Parade Horses

Author(s): Duilio Cruz-Becerra | Enrique Burunat-Gutiérrez | Aldo Hernández-Barrios | Andrés Manuel Pérez-Acosta

Journal: Universitas Psychologica
ISSN 1657-9267

Volume: 8;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 507;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Instrumental Conditioning | Discriminative Learning | Auditory Stimuli | Equine Gaits | Horses.

The purpose of this study was to examine parade horses’ auditory discriminationamong four types of equine gaits: paso-fino (“fine step”), trote-reunido(“two-beat trot”), trocha (“trot”), and galope-reunido (“gallop”). Two experimentallynaïve horses were trained to discriminate the sound of their owngait (paso-fino or fine step), through an experimental module that dispensedfood if the subject pressed a lever after hearing a sound reproduction of aparticular gait. Three experimental phases were developed, defined by theperiod of exposure to the sounds (20, 10, and 5 seconds, respectively). Thechoice between pairs of sounds including the horse’s own gait (fine stepand two-beat trot; fine step and gallop; and fine step and trot) was reinforceddifferentially. The results indicate that the fine step horses are able todiscriminate their own gait from others, and that receptivity to their ownsounds could be included in their training regime.
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