Music helps reduce stress in horses – The Horse

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Boehringer Ingelheim Releases Music Track, Tips To Help Horse Owners Cope With Equine Stressful Times

DULUTH, Ga (September 23, 2021) – Boehringer Ingelheim strives to help keep horses safe and “healthy” when it comes to stress with the release of a piece of music, called Equine Relax Trax, specially designed to help reduce stress in horses. Research shows that stress can quickly develop into equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS), with one study showing horses can develop stomach ulcers in as little as five days.

The musical arrangement includes soothing music designed for the horse. The track was created by Janet Marlow, sound behaviorist, composer, researcher and founder of Pet Acoustics Inc. Marlow focused on creating rhythms and melodies composed for the listening comfort of the horse, including pitch, specific tone and frequencies. Studies show that playing music can help balance equine behavior, as it helps mask outside sounds and vibrations, while providing a positive and relaxing effect.²

“When Boehringer Ingelheim expressed interest in doing something to help manage stress in horses, I was extremely interested in my research in this area,” said Janet Marlow, Founder of Pet Acoustics. “It’s about composing music and changing the decibel and frequency levels of each note for the animal’s comfortable hearing range. Using this process, we tested the music through clinical studies in veterinary hospitals, barns, etc. to watch music cause a release of physical tension and stressful behavior. “²

To access it, veterinarians and horse owners can visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoekmWDxfuaOGuL1ELoPIGQ/videos. Visitors will be able to play the music track and video, as well as access additional resources on stress, EGUS and how to prevent it. The audio-only version is available at: https://equinerelaxtrax.buzzsprout.com/1835303/9061146-equine-relax-trax.

This includes information on using Ulcergard® (omeprazole), to help reduce the build-up of acid in a horse’s stomach during times of stress, thereby helping to maintain optimal gastric health. For the prevention of ulcers, horses should be given ULCERGARD once daily during these times of stress. ULCERGARD is the only equine gastric ulcer prevention proven to be safe, effective and FDA approved.

IMPORTANT ULCERGARD SAFETY INFORMATION: ULCERGARD can be used in horses weighing at least 600 lbs. Safety in pregnant mares has not been determined. Do not use in humans. Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children. If swallowed, consult a doctor.

For horses, stress is not a thing. This can include a variety of triggers including fireworks, thunderstorms / weather, rigorous training, competitions, travel / trailers, competitions, dehydration, limited forage, changes in daily routine, isolation, a new stall neighbor, illness, etc.

“It may seem like small changes or events, but they can create big problems for horses, potentially leading to gastric ulcers,” says Sarah Reuss, VMD, DACVIM, Equine Technical Manager for Boehringer Ingelheim. “Often times, horse owners don’t know how or are simply unable to take the appropriate proactive measures to limit the impact of stress on the animal’s gastric health. Creating a more positive environment through the use of music and adding ULCERGARD when stress cannot be avoided can help minimize the impact.

To learn more about EGUS prevention, visit https://m.info.boehringer-ingelheim.ca/webApp/Equine_Ulcergard_Index.

McClure SR, Carithers DS, Gross SJ, Murray MJ. Development of gastric ulcers in horses in a simulated show or training environment. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005; 227 (5): 775-777.

²Kędzierski, W., Janczarek, I., Stachurska, A., & Wilk, I. (2017). Massages or music intended to be relaxing lead to a decrease in the concentration of salivary cortisol in racehorses. Equine medicine Pferdeheilkunde, 33 (2), 146-151. https://doi.org/10.21836/pem20170206

IMPORTANT ULCERGARD SAFETY INFORMATION: ULCERGARD can be used in horses weighing at least 600 lbs. Safety in pregnant mares has not been determined. Do not use in humans. Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children. If swallowed, consult a doctor.

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