This module focuses on the underlying anatomy and physiology that regulates behaviour. Students will review the biology of the nervous, sensory and endocrine systems. This knowledge will then be applied to how horses behave in both their natural and artificial environments and the implications for how we train them. The module will investigate which parts of the brain are involved in regulating different types of behaviour as well as the neurotransmitters responsible for initiating or inhibiting different behaviours, including stereotypic behaviours. How the horse sees, hears and feels will all impact on how the horse responds to training. It is very easy to just look at it from a human perspective but this module will encourage students to think about the impact of how the horse senses its environment on how it responds to training. The endocrine system affects both social and reproductive behaviour as well as being involved in the flight response. This module provides a great opportunity for students to relate what is happening at the biological level to how the horse responds. A range of activities including practical sessions, dissections, group discussions and lectures, will support learning on this module.
- Module leader: Isobel Gowers