Massage or music meant to be relaxing, result in lowering salivary cortisol concentration in race horses

Massage or music meant to be relaxing, result in lowering salivary cortisol concentration in race horses

Massage oder Musik führt beim Rennpferd zu einer Verminderung der Speichel-Cortisolkonzentration

Kędzierski W, Janczarek I, Stachurska A, Wilk I

DOI: 10.21836/PEM20170206
Year: 2017
Volume: 33
Issue: 2
Pages: 146-151

At the beginning of training routine, young race horses are exposed to stressful stimuli. The aim of the study was to evaluate the influence of a relaxing massage which the horses received in the stable, and the influence of music piped into the stable, on the longlasting stress level of the horses. 120 Purebred Arabian horses were studied. They were examined during first racing season, which lasted for six months. At the beginning of the study, the horses were 28–31 months old. The horses were brought to Słužewiec Horse Race Track (Warsaw, Poland) from their familiar studs and were randomly assigned to music (n=48), massage (n=48), or control (n=24) groups. All horses were regularly trained and competed in official races. Once a month, saliva samples were collected from each horse to determine the cortisol concentration. Both music and massage resulted in significantly lower salivary cortisol concentration compared to control treatment.