HorseWatch - Optimal start for young horses

Photo: Kirsch/ATB

HorseWatch - Our methods


By measuring the stress hormone "cortisol" in the saliva of the horses and continuously recording the heart rate during a new training situation, the stress response of the horses to the initial training is assessed.


Activity sensors are used to monitor how much the horses move in the different postures and training phases. It is examined how these movement patterns change with age and with increased training.


Behavioral observations will be used to assess the well-being of the horses in relation to the initial training. In addition, the question of how the attitude and age at the start of training affects behavior will be answered. Data collection also includes the determination of electrical activities of the cerebral cortex by electroencephalography (EEG).


Regular performance tests, which include measurements of heart rate and lactate levels in response to a standardized load, are used to assess how the horses' fitness status changes over the course of the initial training and how housing type and age affect fitness status.


Regular examinations of the horses, including x-rays, show the influence of training at a young age and the different types of husbandry on the long-term health of the horses.