How does music affect horses?

Study: Horses eat more with classical music

Several studies have already shown that classical music has a relaxing effect on horses. Mozart, Bach and Co are not only a good choice for restless four-legged friends. Like Naomi Hartmann and Linda Greening from the UK University in Hartpury in one recently published preliminary study found, classical music also seems to influence animal appetite.

For their research, Hartman and Greening observed the behavior of seven box horses over nine nights - from 8:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. the next morning. On five nights, from 8.30 p.m. to 1.30 a.m., the horses heard Beethoven's 9th Symphony in a continuous loop. To make a comparison, the music system remained silent on two evenings at the beginning and two evenings at the end of the study.

The difference between the two scenarios was clear. When music was played, the horses spent noticeably more time eating than without. Other behaviors such as vigilance, walking around, and crap decreased at the same time.

Apart from that, Beethoven's 9th also seemed to have a positive effect on the horses' sleep behavior. With the help of music, the horses could be seen lying on their side more often than on silent nights.

"Music seems to have a significant effect on the nocturnal time budget of horses, which could also be advantageous from the perspective of sleep behavior", is the conclusion of the two scientists, who want to investigate their newly acquired knowledge in further observations.