Imprint Training Study

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Due to the large size of horses it can be dangerous to work with ones that are hard to handle. The term “Imprint Training” is popular in the horse industry meaning early handling of foals with to focus on improving their behavior, learning ability, and for them to gain confidence in the world around them (Lansade, 2004). This imprint training is believed by many horse people to help horses and make them easier to work with when they become older (Lansade, 2004). A study preformed by Lansade tested long and short-term effects of imprint training on foal management, learning ability, and reactivity. There were a total of 26 welsh pony foals that were tested; 13 handled every day up to 14 days from birth and 13 foals that were not handled as control (Lansade, 2004). The handling in this study included patting each part of the foal’s body, picking up feet, putting on an halter, and leading the foal over 40 meters (Lansade, 2004). Then the foals were tested for manageability and reactivity at two days, 3 months, 6 months and 1…show more content…
Animals navigate the world with different types of cues either allocentric or egocentric (Tornick). Allocentric cues are external, such as visual cues or a beacon (tornick). Egocentric cues are cues within the animal such as vestibular systems (Tornick). In a recent 2011 study horses were asked to preform a detour task (Baragli , 2011). This detour task relates to spatial orientation, which is “the ability to orient the environment and find to shortest path to an objective,” (Baragli p227, 2011). Horses are flight animals and their speed helps them get away from predators. The ability to find the shortest path increases their ability to survive when a predator is attacking them. Also, without the ability to navigate the environment horses wouldn’t be able to find food or mates (Baragli,
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