Environmental enrichment for horses – Who thinks of “Smells”?
Its good news for horses and ponies that “Environmental Enrichment” is something being discussed more and more these days! But how many owners are tacking this through smell?
This recent paper in Animals is OPEN ACCESS (Free) and may give you some ideas: Bini de Lima, A.C.; Sebastião da Fé, V.C.; Palermo Hernandes, M.S.; Oliveira dos Santos, V.M. Olfactory Stimulation as Environmental Enrichment for Domestic Horses—A Review. Animals 2023, 13, 3180. Link here.
Equine welfare is a topic that has attracted the attention of both the scientific community and the public. In the domestic environment, horses are often kept in suboptimal conditions that limit the expression of species-typical behaviors and compromise their welfare. Environmental enrichment strategies have been identified as an interesting option to make the domestic environment more interactive and complex, resulting in an improvement in the animal’s quality of life. Olfactory stimulation, a form of sensory environmental enrichment that aims to trigger the sense of smell through the introduction of odors, has shown promise for horses. This review aims to present current information on equine olfaction, demonstrating its relevance as a sensory modality and exploring the potential that olfactory stimulation has as environmental enrichment for the species.”