Comparison of resting heart rate variability of race horses and pleasure horses and the influence of behavioural type
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We performed this study for several reasons. We wanted to look at the resting heart rate variability in horses as this had never been done properly before. We investigated the influence of the autonomic nervous system on the Heart Rate Variability and how this influenced calm or nervous type horses differently. We looked at how training induces changes in the autonomic nervous system and compared our results between race horses and pleasure horses. We also wanted to investigate how stress and behaviour relate to heart rate variability and whether heart rate variability was a good measure of stress. Our hypothesis was that calm horses with higher parasympathetic influence of the autonomic nervous system are less stressed healthier horses and that training has an influence on heart rate variability parameters.