The effects of aromatherapy oil on the behaviour of stabled horses.


Glover, Christine and Goodwin, Deborah (2006) The effects of aromatherapy oil on the behaviour of stabled horses. In, Mendl, M., Burman, O.H.P., Butterworth, A., Harris, M.J., Held, S.D.E., Jones, S.M., Littin, K.E., Main, D.C.J., Nicol, C.J., Parker, R.M.A., Paul, E.S., Richards, G., Sherwin, C.M., Statham, P.T.E, Toscano, M.J. and Warriss, P.D (eds.) Proceedings of the 40th International Congress of ISAE. 40th International Congress of ISAE UK, ISAE Scientific Committee 2006 for the Organising Committee of the 40th ISAE Congress, p.149.

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Description/Abstract

These two replicated trials investigated the behavioural effects of aromatherapy oils on 12
stabled horses, divided into three groups according to stable design. In trial 1, 12
aromatherapy oils were separately presented as drops of oil on wooden blocks. Behaviour was
videoed and the mean duration of olfactory investigation of the blocks used to construct a
mean attractiveness order for the 12 oils. The three most attractive oils, Rose (Rosa
damascena), Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) and Peppermint (Mentha piperita) were
used in trial 2. In trial 2, these three oils and Sunflower oil as a control, were each presented
individually for five days. On days 1, 3 and 5 behaviour was recorded for 30 minutes using
wall-mounted video cameras. Data was harvested from tapes according to a nine mutually
exclusive behaviour ethogram using the Observer v.5 package and analysed using SPSS v.12.
Freidman's analysis showed a significant effect of treatment on duration of movement
(P<0.05, df 3, 2 9.92) and standing alert (P<0.05, df 3, 2 9.01), while differences in dozing
behaviour approached significance (P<0.1, df 3, 2 6.36). Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Tests for
treatment differences found that Rose (P<0.05, Z -3.242) and Roman Chamomile (P<0.05, Z
-2.462) resulted in a significant reduction in movement behaviours. Differences between
Peppermint and the control were not significant. Using Freidman's analysis a significant
difference was found between the three groups in mean duration of behaviours (P<0.005, df
2, 2 11.31), suggesting that stable design influences equine behavioural responses to
aromatherapy oils. In these short-term trials the horses demonstrated increased attraction to
Peppermint, Rose and Roman Chamomile aromatherapy oils. Rose and Roman Chamomile
oils resulted in behaviour suggesting increased relaxation. Published studies have shown the
stimulating effects of Peppermint oil on dogs, however this study did not demonstrate similar
effects in horses.

Item Type: Book Section
Related URLs:
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Psychology > Division of Cognition
ePrint ID: 63492
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2008
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:45
Publisher: ISAE Scientific Committee 2006 for the Organising Committee of the 40th ISAE Congress
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/63492

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