Equines love a rhythm

Equines love a rhythm
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Horses respond to music which relaxes and calms them to a level which boosts their mental health


Equestrian | Spotlight




Beautiful countryside, horses and country music bring to our mind a picture of tranquillity. Did you know that your equine partner enjoys country music too? Let’s find out.

Freddie Payne, Founder, HorseSquad.com, shares with LA POLO, his thoughts on equines and music: “Classical and country
music have a calming effect on horses, though they find jazz and rock disconcerting and stressful. Horses were said to
have responded to both silence and classical music at a soothing level in the same manner, so this suggests that horses
respond positively to music that is relaxing in nature.”

But it’s not the genre alone that matters. Payne offers his
insights: “The type of music and the volume play a key part. Classical and
country music helps calm the horses and at the same time since horses are known
to have great hearing ability where they can identify very low and high
frequency sounds. Any jarring sound can cause stress and anxiety. Loud sounds
are painful to the ears, and horses, with their superior hearing ability to
pick up high frequency sounds with a lot more clarity, are even more adversely
affected.”


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Horses appreciate some music in the barn after a tiresome
day as that helps them to relax. Payne agrees: “Music should be played in a
barn to mask jarring and loud sounds, especially during fireworks or
thunderstorms. These are common instances when your equine buddies are likely
to feel anxious and alone. Playing music in a barn in such settings helps them
relax.” He adds: “Moving to a new barn before a competition or travel in
general can cause horses’ anxiety. On such occasions, playing music for the horse
can help them feel at home and help cope with their stress levels.”

Since most of the wisdom around the subject is experiment
based, we asked about specific times for playing music. Payne says: “Ideally, a
fixed time works best. Horses are really particular about their peace and quiet,
so just like humans, they do not want to listen to music 24/7.”

Many people claim the positive effects of music in training
race horses. Payne says: “Music has a positive effect on horses in helping them
focus and block out external distractions, but it also helps them relax and
unwind after a competition. The fact that music is used for both focusing and
unwinding suggests that there is a strong possibility that it can be extended
to other trainings too.”


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Playing music regulates heartbeat and stress in horses, especially geriatric horses. But what are the effects when
music
is used for training? “Horses are prone to nervousness and anxiety. Competitions and unfamiliar gatherings can make
them
feel nervous very quickly. Music in training helps horses with a nervous disposition as it gives them a sense of
familiarity, enables them to focus and makes them less nervous, thus helping them to perform better and find a
rhythm.”


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Horse headphones are effective in cancelling outside noise.
Payne says: “Horse headphones help horses focus before a competition and block
out noises. While horses get startled each time music is played, they are known
to help soothe them after a race or even before them. By virtue of the music
that is played for them it is known to have a calming effect on horses. It’s
too early to say if they are detrimental in the long run.”

He tells LA POLO: “Horses respond well to routine as long as there is a set playlist, a pattern to when music is
played
and enough time
for peace and quiet; the response is unlikely to diminish with time.” Over time, the positive effects of music on
horses
increase manifold. Keeping
in mind these benefits and insights, it might be time to try it on your steeds.1






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