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By Paul McGreevy, BVSc, PhD
Copyright 2013$135.99, Evolve, Reference
Equine Behavior: A Guide for Veterinarians and Equine Scientists is written for all those who really want to know what makes horses tick. Behavioral problems in the stable and under saddle are of concern to equine veterinarians worldwide because they lead to welfare issues, abuse and ultimately wastage. Equine veterinarians, trainers and handlers must be aware of each horse’s behavior as a first step in detection of problems, whether they are clinical maladies or training issues. As they constantly study their horses’ responses to their environments they are all, in effect, students of horse behavior.
Drawing on over 1,000 references, Equine Behavior explores the subject from first principles by considering the behavior of free-ranging horses and considering ways in which management and training influences the responses of domestic horses. All too often veterinarians feel that management of the mental health of equine patients is beyond their expertise. This book addresses many important gaps to enable practitioners to understand how horses can learn to perform unwelcome behaviors and how to change those behaviors where appropriate.
The new edition builds on the success of its pioneering predecessor and presents a thorough revision of all chapters to reflect the latest developments in this dynamic field. The chapter on equitation science has been expanded and there have been major revisions to the sections on stereotypic behavior, cognition studies, nutrition and housing. The book remains a must-have purchase for all veterinarians who deal with horses, for equine scientists, trainers and everybody with an interest in the subject.
"With our association with animals there is the ever present tendency by us humans to interpret animal behaviour in a human way, and it is no different with horses. There are many occasions when we see or use human values and interpretations to describe or define the behaviour of our equine companions. More often than not it is done without us recognizing the fact, and to do so is to insult the uniqueness of equines and their behaviour. Observations on equine behaviour have been conducted for centuries and today there is greater inquiry from horse owners for information to understand more fully the behaviour of equines.
If you have an inquiring and analytical mind and wish to understand better why and how your horse behaves then Dr Paul McGreevy's book Equine Behaviour is an outstanding reference. Although it is referred to as a guide for veterinarians and equine scientists, do not be put off. It contains a feast of information for the non-scientifically trained reader.There is a glossary of colloquialisms, ethological (what did you say? Hit an English dictionary it is in there) and equestrian terms for the vets and equine scientists, many of which would be only too familiar to equestrians.
There are fifteen chapters covering 369 pages and the depth and breadth of the work is outstanding. Following the introductory chapter this reference work covers perception, behaviour and the brain, learning, social behaviour, communication, locomotory behaviour, ingestive behaviour, eliminative behaviour, body care, behaviour of the stallion, behaviour of the mare, training, handling and transport, and miscellaneous unwelcome behaviours, their causes and resolution. The utilization of photographs, line diagrams and tables to illustrate and amplify aspects of behaviour and key points is beautifully done. Furthermore the layout of the book is extremely reader friendly.
What separates Dr McGreevy's book from other popular publications in the equine behaviour field is that his work is based on scientific study. Moreover it draws on scientific knowledge from over 1000 references. Dr McGreevy has drawn on the expertise of two contributors to enhance the work - Dr Caroline Hahn from the University of Edinburgh, UK wrote the chapter on behaviour and the brain and Dr McGreevy and Andrew McLean from the Australian Equine Behaviour Centre, Victoria jointly wrote the chapter on training." Jane Vincent, Australian Horse Industry Research Newsletter, September 2004
Hoofbeats, October 2004"This book is a unique attempt to throw light onto the how and why of problems and unwelcome behaviours, offering solutions and a practical hands-on approach to all aspects of equine handling and management. The easy to read and well laid out format, including excellent illustrations, photo's, tables, graphs and a comprehensive glossary allow any horseperson to understand and benefit from this book."
"This is a well-researched and well-presented review of current observations and ideas on the subject of equine behaviour. This book does educate and, in my opinion, should be read by anyone working with, or training to work, with horses."Deirdre Carson, February 2005
"This 365 page text is a useful resource for anyone interested in equine behaviour. It uses a large body of reputable references to support the text... It has particularly well laid out chapters, (and associated page numbers) at the start of each chapter...There are lots of useful figures and photographs, though some of the tables are too large and should have been reduced to a manageable size for the reader. A useful addition is the summary of key points and an occasional case study to support the text. For those interested in horses and horse behaviour this is a useful addition to the body of literature. For pure ethologists, or for more the more academically based student of equine science, it should rarely be used in isolation, but supported by other key texts."Veterinary Record, January 2013
All veterinary practitioners, including specialised equine practitioners. Equine Science students and graduates. Horse trainers, particularly within the racehorse community.
By Paul McGreevy, BVSc, PhD, Department of Animal Science, University of Sydney, NSW, Austrialia