You have been asked to write a short article for an equine veterinary journal on ‘Primary factors affecting the behavioural development and welfare of the foal and future directions for research’. You will need to decide what factors are important and up to what age in the foal you are considering the behavioural effect. In this respect, it is useful to consider the factors chronologically as they are encountered by the foal. You may also want to prioritise some factors over others in terms of their impact on the foal’s welfare. For some of the factors, there may also be limited research in respect to the horse in which case you might also want to consider using non-equine literature to discuss the potential impact of factors. The latter can also be used as a basis for ‘future directions’ part of the review.


  • The aim of this assignment is to:
  • Evaluate the current research in equine behaviour and welfare;
  • Develop your ability to critically evaluate scientific literature;
  • Gain experience in information retrieval;
  • Improve your ability to convey knowledge to others in a concise and scientific manner;
  • Develop your written communication skills.

Learning outcomes tested by this assessment

  1. Describe the natural behaviour of equids and recognise the different behaviours of the developing and adult equid in various domestic environments;
  2. Critically assess how animal learning theory can be applied to the training and behavioural modification of the horse;
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of the neurophysiology underlying normal and abnormal goal-directed equine behaviour

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