Horse Behavior and Welfare OpenCourseWare: MSU's Free Bachelor Level Animal Science Course on Horse Behavior

Published Feb 18, 2009

RSS Feed

This free course preview of 'Horse Behavior and Welfare' from Michigan State University offers students an opportunity to study stereotypic behaviors of horses (popularly known as 'vices'). This course preview could be helpful to students enrolled in a program of Bachelor of Science in Animal Science with an Equine Concentration, or to anyone with an interest in horses.

Horse Behavior and Welfare: Course Specifics

Degree Level Free Audio Video Downloads
Undergraduate Yes Yes Yes Yes

Lectures/Notes Study Materials Tests/Quizzes
Yes Yes Yes

Horse Behavior and Welfare: Course Description

Domesticated horses sometimes develop 'stereotypic' behaviors, or 'vices' as they're often called. This course preview, which contains pages of notes detailing this behavior along with videos that allow students to see horses engaging in sterotypies, also offers an activity for students to pursue and a quiz. The course preview can lead students through descriptions of various stereotypies and the means by which remedial action may be taken. Stereotypies tend to be repetitive in nature, and serve no obvious immediate purpose. They can cause negative repercussions not only for the horse, but for the owner as well. Stereotypies fall into two categories: oral and locomotor. 'Cribbing' and wood chewing are examples of the former, and weaving and pawing are examples of the latter. This course preview also gives other examples of other stereotypies, like flank-biting, head tossing and wall kicking. Horses can damage themselves through this kind of behavior, suffering damage to their teeth and gums, hoof damage or wounds. The course preview offers suggestions on how to keep horses from engaging in these behaviors, from giving them more turnout or grazing time to allowing them more social interaction with other horses. Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science may find this course preview a good supplement or review.

The readings, videos, activity description and quiz are all free on the course preview website. If you'd like to access these materials, visit the horse behavior course page.

Featured School Choices: