Impact of Nordic climate and management practices on thermoregulation in the horse

The overall aim of the project is to address fundamental and applied questions of the horses’ thermoregulation in response to Nordic climatic conditions and different management regimes (access to shelter, additional heat, shaving, blanketing).

Climate change is expected to involve periods of higher and lower environmental temperatures as well as extreme weather with thunder storms and heavy rain and snow fall.

In particular, we aim to study:

  • To what extend do horses seek shelter in summer and what type of shelter do they prefer?
  • Do horses show preferences for heated shelters during winter and is this preference influenced by breed, age, coat length and quality, body condition and whether or not horses wear blankets?
  • What are the effects of shade availability in summer, extra heat sources in winter and shaving and blanketing on thermoregulatory responses in the horse?
  • How will shaving and blanketing in winter affect recovery time after exercise?
  • Do sweaty horses after being exercised seek access to extra heat in a shelter and is this influenced by blanketing? 

Sweden has main responsibility for the summer situation and Norway the winter season. A method developed in the Norwegians experiment is to train horses to tell us whether they want the blanket on, or off, or to stay as is.

Research partners:

  • Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet
  • Universitetet for miljø- og biovitenskap
  • Bioforsk Nord
Andre Forskningsprosjekter
Dyrevelferd, Husdyrhelse


Cecilie Marie Mejdell

Fagansvarlig dyrevelferd, veterinær, seniorforsker
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