SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS IN A GROUP OF HORSES WITHOUT A MATURE STALLION by HREFNA SIGURJÓNSDÓTTIR 1) , MACHTELD C. VAN DIERENDONCK 2) , SIGURDUR SNORRASON 3) and ANNA G. THÓRHALLSDÓTTIR 4,5) ( 1 Iceland University of Education, Stakkahlid, 105 Reykjavik, Iceland, hrefnas@ khi.is; 2 FIRE consultancy, Tolnegenweg 39-41, 3776 PT Stroe, The Netherlands, firstname.lastname@example.org; 3 University of Iceland, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland, email@example.com; 4 The Agricultural University at Hvanneyri, Iceland, firstname.lastname@example.org) (Acc. 12-V-2003) Summary 1. The social relationships in a group of Icelandic horses without a mature stallion were studied. The horses were all familiar to each other. Mutual grooming and play relationships, spatial associations, dominance-subordinaterelations and the effect of kinship on these rela- tionships were analysed. 2. The social structure was clearly dominated by the behaviour of the adult mares. The horses preferred to form bonds within their social class (sex/age) and they kept close proximity with their friends. The group was effectively divided into two social subgroups, adult mares as one group and adult geldings and sub-adults as another group. The sub-adults and adult geldings formed associations, which were based on mutual grooming and play, while the adult mares did not play. Differences between the sexes were evident.
Behaviour – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2003
Keywords: SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS; DOMINANCE HIERARCHIES; ICELANDIC HORSES; SUPPRESSION; KINSHIP
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