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The Equid Ethogram: A Practical Field Guide to Horse Behavior [Hardcover]

Sue McDonnell Ph.D.
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb. 1 2003
This book details everything from ongoing daily activites to social interaction among horses to abnormal behaviors. Each behavior is further explained by original line drawings, photographs or both.

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Product Details


Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

More than 15 years of research and observation from students and experts at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center have gone into McDonnell's formal catalogue of equine behavior. Designed to be useful to the widest possible range of readers, from veterinarians to high school students, and from horse buffs to those engaged in serious scientific study, this fully illustrated volume (the first of its kind) offers definitions of hundreds of actions observed in domestic horses and other equids such as zebras, donkeys and Przewalski horses (the domestic horse's primitive living ancestor). McDonnell (Understanding Horse Behavior) organizes the book into six general categories, including maintenance behavior, social communication, intermale interaction and play; each specific behavior is defined and illustrated with both a photograph and a line drawing. Additional comments about the behavior are often included in the entry (e.g. rearing is a way of establishing dominance), as well as brief lists of scientific papers that also identify the behavior. Many of the observations come from the study of a semi-feral pony herd that McDonnell established at the Bolton Center (and most of the photos, like the one captioned "foal picking up field data sheet," feature these ponies as well), but the author also includes a section on shaped and aberrant behaviors more common in "domestically managed" horses. A careful and serious reference, this volume is also an accessible introduction to horse behavior.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Sue M. McDonnell is an associate professor and founding head of the Havemeyer Equine Behavior Programme at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, New Bolton Center. She has published widely on stallion sexual behaviour and dysfunction and is author of The Equid Ethogram, A Practical Field Guide to Horse Behavior.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars WOW! Never read a book that was so useless! Jan. 31 2004
Format:Hardcover
Would you buy a dictionary where you would look up a word, find it, and then there was no meaning or usage listed under it? Then pass this book up!
There are many behaviors listed in this book. Some with drawings (not really professional but you get the idea of them).
Example: You have a drawing with a description of the act; THAT'S IT! No explanation of why it is occurring, possible impact, not even an utterance!
Anyone can sit there and watch a horse for a week and document what they see. Good job on that accomplishment. You certainly don't need a PHD for this task unless it is in marketing useless stuff. Next week I am going to watch my dog and write a book on everything he does. I have to remind myself NOT to include any interpretation of why he is doing this. Hopefully some people who really want to know answers will buy this book and find it just as useless as I cash my monthly commission check.
Where is the meat of this book? In the past I have bought some pretty horrible books. Even with the worst of them I could find a reason not to have to repack and reship it back. In this case I couldn't find one! This is the first book among over $15,000 worth of book, bought in the last 4 years to ever be returned.
I can almost put money on WHO wrote the rave review!
PROS:
Great as puppy lining in a crate
Something to give a grade school student for the nice roughly draw photos
Something to give to a writer on what not to write
Cons:
You have to pay for it
You have to invest about 5 min before you realize what you have purchased
You have to make a choice of throwing it out or shipping it back
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Misleading salesmanship May 11 2003
Format:Hardcover
I was expecting to see a fairly exhaustive review on horse behaviour and EXPLANATIONS or at least studied observations on why horses do a certain behaviour. Dr. McDonnell does have an exhaustive list and pictures of various horse behaviours, but virtually ZERO explanation on what or why. She lists other books and references. I was extremely disappointed. The ads surrounding the book gave the impression it would be much more than it actually is. I would NOT recommend this book to anyone trying to learn about why horses do what they do.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Like no ordinary horse behavior book. June 3 2003
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This was a GREAT TREAT! It's like an illustrated dictionary of horse behavior, listing the natural behaviors of horses, from the cute little early behaviors of newborn foals to the complex social and sexual interactions of adult mares and stallions. There are also some of the common abnormal behaviors that are happen to stabled horses. This book is just great if you have a horse or pony and are wondering about the natural basis of its behavior. It's neatly organized and well referenced, so would be a SUPER learning tool. Teachers of horsemanship, equine science, or even pony and 4-H clubs will want each student to have their own copy. Even though it is like a mini-encyclopedia, you can get into it and go from cover to cover in one sitting. But then you'll want to keep it so you can go back to it whenevr you see a horse do something interesting. I have always been fascinated with horse behavior, but found it difficult to find good information. I never knew animal behavior could be so organized, simple, and understandable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars For anyone who owns or interacts with horses May 22 2003
Format:Hardcover
Authoritatively written by skilled and experienced horse behaviorist Sue McDonnell (founder of the Equine Behavior Program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine), A Practical Field Guide To Horse Behavior: The Equid Ethogram is an extensive and detailed reference of a wide variety of behaviors seen in horses and related species such as donkeys and zebras. A Practical Field Guide To Horse Behavior is enhanced with full-color photographs, black-and-white drawings, and straightforward explanations concerning equine behaviors from Autogroom to Wood Chewing. A solid, straightforward, "user friendly" reference, A Practical Field Guide To Horse Behavior is a very highly recommended resource for anyone who owns or interacts with horses.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent scientific resource - but not for casual horse owner Aug. 20 2005
By Virginia Bowen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a student of animal behavior and animal welfare, focusing on equine welfare, this book was a MUST for my bookshelf, as it will be for anyone studying animal behavior. While McDonnell gives a lot of great information in the foreward for the lay reader, I believe the ethogram itself would be a bit of a disappointment to the casual horse owner who might be looking for a description of what each behavior MEANS, which is not what an ethogram is, of course, though this book does sometimes include such commentary.

For horse owners who are already well versed in equid behavior, or those casually studying behavior and looking for a more in-depth description to assist them in reading the scientific literature, you need this book.

But if you just want to know why horses do what they do, or are interested in better horsekeeping, then read "Equine Welfare" by Marthe Kiley-Worthington.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like no ordinary horse behavior book. June 3 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This was a GREAT TREAT! It's like an illustrated dictionary of horse behavior, listing the natural behaviors of horses, from the cute little early behaviors of newborn foals to the complex social and sexual interactions of adult mares and stallions. There are also some of the common abnormal behaviors that are happen to stabled horses. This book is just great if you have a horse or pony and are wondering about the natural basis of its behavior. It's neatly organized and well referenced, so would be a SUPER learning tool. Teachers of horsemanship, equine science, or even pony and 4-H clubs will want each student to have their own copy. Even though it is like a mini-encyclopedia, you can get into it and go from cover to cover in one sitting. But then you'll want to keep it so you can go back to it whenevr you see a horse do something interesting. I have always been fascinated with horse behavior, but found it difficult to find good information. I never knew animal behavior could be so organized, simple, and understandable.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, with a set purpose July 23 2005
By H. Abramowicz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Ethograms are used in the science world to document common normal, and abnormal, behaviors. They can be helpful in gathering data, or learning about the wide range of common behaviors that are typical to a species. If you want a book that *talks* about behavior, check out some of the author's other books. If you want to see (drawn) examples of what horses do, check this book out. It is very facinating, even if you watch horses regularly.

Again, this is an ethogram- it gives a basic description of behavior! It is meant to be combined with other readings.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For anyone who owns or interacts with horses May 22 2003
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Authoritatively written by skilled and experienced horse behaviorist Sue McDonnell (founder of the Equine Behavior Program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine), A Practical Field Guide To Horse Behavior: The Equid Ethogram is an extensive and detailed reference of a wide variety of behaviors seen in horses and related species such as donkeys and zebras. A Practical Field Guide To Horse Behavior is enhanced with full-color photographs, black-and-white drawings, and straightforward explanations concerning equine behaviors from Autogroom to Wood Chewing. A solid, straightforward, "user friendly" reference, A Practical Field Guide To Horse Behavior is a very highly recommended resource for anyone who owns or interacts with horses.
11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars WOW! Never read a book that was so useless! Jan. 31 2004
By Maggie Temple - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Would you buy a dictionary where you would look up a word, find it, and then there was no meaning or usage listed under it? Then pass this book up!
There are many behaviors listed in this book. Some with drawings (not really professional but you get the idea of them).
Example: You have a drawing with a description of the act; THAT'S IT! No explanation of why it is occurring, possible impact, not even an utterance!
Anyone can sit there and watch a horse for a week and document what they see. Good job on that accomplishment. You certainly don't need a PHD for this task unless it is in marketing useless stuff. Next week I am going to watch my dog and write a book on everything he does. I have to remind myself NOT to include any interpretation of why he is doing this. Hopefully some people who really want to know answers will buy this book and find it just as useless as I cash my monthly commission check.
Where is the meat of this book? In the past I have bought some pretty horrible books. Even with the worst of them I could find a reason not to have to repack and reship it back. In this case I couldn't find one! This is the first book among over $15,000 worth of book, bought in the last 4 years to ever be returned.
I can almost put money on WHO wrote the rave review!
PROS:
Great as puppy lining in a crate
Something to give a grade school student for the nice roughly draw photos
Something to give to a writer on what not to write
Cons:
You have to pay for it
You have to invest about 5 min before you realize what you have purchased
You have to make a choice of throwing it out or shipping it back
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