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.