Playing music overnight in barns has a significant effect on horses, a new study shows. Researchers Naomi Hartmann and Linda Greening of Hartpury University played classical music during the night to seven horses housed in the same barn. All the horses were stabled for 24 hours and followed the same routine.
The study recorded the horse's behavior from 8:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. for nine consecutive nights. Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 was played on repeat from 8:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. for five nights; on two nights at both the beginning and conclusion of the study, no music was played to serve as a control for equine behavior.
The researchers found that the music has a significant effect on equine behavior: The horses spent more time eating while the music was being played. They also spent less time standing alertly, walking and defecating while the music was played. Additionally, the horses spent more time lying on their sides, but the scientists could not relate this specifically to the addition of the music.
The study team concludes that music played at night has significant impact on horses, which may be beneficial to their sleep.
Read the full study here.
Read more at Equine Science Update.
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