Regulation EC 1/2005 has stricter rules for transportation of unbroken (untamed) vs. broken (tamed) horses, but does not provide adequate tools for their identification. This study aimed to develop and validate such a tool. A behavioural test (Broken/Unbroken Test (BUT)) based on approaching, haltering, and leading was applied to 100 horses. Physiological and additional behavioural data were also collected, and the horses’ status (broken/unbroken) was assessed by the expert who administered the BUT. Each horse’s behaviour during the BUT was scored by four trained observers blinded to the horse’s history. The BUT score showed excellent inter-observer, intra-observer, and test–retest reliability (all intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) > 0.75). It was also negatively associated with respiratory rate, avoidance distance, and time needed to approach, halter, and lead the horse (p < 0.05 for all). The optimal BUT score cut-off for discrimination between broken and unbroken horses (gold standard: expert judgment) showed 97.8% sensitivity and 97.3% specificity. There was almost perfect agreement between BUT-based and expert classification of horses (ICC = 0.940). These findings confirm the BUT’s construct and criterion validity. The BUT could provide officials with a feasible, reliable, and valid tool to identify a horse’s broken/unbroken status and, consequently, direct stakeholders towards correct transport procedures.

Development and Validation of a Test for the Classification of Horses as Broken or Unbroken

Menchetti, Laura;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Regulation EC 1/2005 has stricter rules for transportation of unbroken (untamed) vs. broken (tamed) horses, but does not provide adequate tools for their identification. This study aimed to develop and validate such a tool. A behavioural test (Broken/Unbroken Test (BUT)) based on approaching, haltering, and leading was applied to 100 horses. Physiological and additional behavioural data were also collected, and the horses’ status (broken/unbroken) was assessed by the expert who administered the BUT. Each horse’s behaviour during the BUT was scored by four trained observers blinded to the horse’s history. The BUT score showed excellent inter-observer, intra-observer, and test–retest reliability (all intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) > 0.75). It was also negatively associated with respiratory rate, avoidance distance, and time needed to approach, halter, and lead the horse (p < 0.05 for all). The optimal BUT score cut-off for discrimination between broken and unbroken horses (gold standard: expert judgment) showed 97.8% sensitivity and 97.3% specificity. There was almost perfect agreement between BUT-based and expert classification of horses (ICC = 0.940). These findings confirm the BUT’s construct and criterion validity. The BUT could provide officials with a feasible, reliable, and valid tool to identify a horse’s broken/unbroken status and, consequently, direct stakeholders towards correct transport procedures.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11581/468795
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