Abstract: Allogrooming was found to decrease heart rate in horses. Some authors found that stereotyping horses showed a different autonomic regulation of heart rate and that their heart rate decreased while they performed the stereotypy. The aim of this study was to investigate the heart rate response to allogrooming in stereotyping and non stereotyping horses. Twenty-seven horses (10 mares and 17 geldings), aged 2 to 25 years, were studied. All were housed in the same yard and managed similarly. Twelve presented different stereotypies (two horses had oral, three horses locomotion and seven horses both oral and locomotion stereotypies) and 15 were non-stereotyping control horses. Heart rate was recorded, using a stethoscope, at rest and during seven minutes of manual imitation of allogrooming. This procedure was performed by the same person, who was familiar with the horses. The data were analysed using a GLM. In our experience non stereotyping horses showed a significant decrease in heart rate in response to allogrooming, while stereotyping horses showed a significant increase (p<0.0001). These quite unexpected results seem to indicate that this kind of inter-specific interaction can be perceived differently by the two groups of horses.
Normando Simona , Trevisan Caterina , Bonetti Omar and Bono Gabriele , 2007. A Note on Heart Rate Response to Massage in Stereotyping and non Stereotyping Horses. Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 6: 101-104.