Horses

Rutgers Study: Therapy Horses Are Not Stressed When Working With Veterans

27b697ab42e20bb6ba3e_Rutgers_Equine_Science_17004.JPG
Stella Almeida, right presents Karyn Malinowski with a check for Rutgers Equine Science Center from the 4-H horse program at Evening of Science & Celebration on Nov. 9 in New Brunswick, N.J. Credits: Lillian Shupe
54ff1aa9df9dcd44142f_Rutgers_Equine_Science_17005.JPG
Members of the New Jersey 4-H Roundup team are honored at the Rutgers Equine Science Center's Evening of Science & Celebration on Nov. 9 at the Cook Campus Center in New Brunswick, N.J. Credits: Lillian Shupe
1a96e9f7f6c21dd7b0a6_Rutgers_Equine_Science_17006.JPG
Warren County 4-H member, Brittany Smith gives her presentation at the Rutgers Equine Science Center's Evening of Science & Celebration” on Nov. 9 at the Cook Campus Center in New Brunswick, N.J. Credits: Lillian Shupe
88e89fc40be3ff15b08c_Rutgers_Equine_Science_17007.JPG
Rutgers Equine Science Center's Evening of Science & Celebration was held on Nov. 9 at the Cook Campus Center in New Brunswick, N.J. Credits: Lillian Shupe
27b697ab42e20bb6ba3e_Rutgers_Equine_Science_17004.JPG

As the old saying goes, “There is nothing so good for the inside of a man as the outside of a horse.”

But how do the outsides of a man, particularly a veteran with post traumatic stress disorder, affect the horse? That is the question, Karyn Malinowski, Ph.D., director of the Rutgers Equine Science Center, is seeking to answer.  She presented the results of a pilot study during the center’s “Evening of Science & Celebration” on Nov. 9 at the Cook Campus Center in New Brunswick, N.J.

Dr. Malinowski is a Professor of Animal Sciences, and the Founding Director of the Equine Science Center at the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES), at Rutgers University. Her research and extension programs concentrate on improving the well-being and quality of life of the equine athlete while ensuring the vitality and viability of the equine industry, both statewide and nationally.

Sign Up for E-News

The study took place in April 2016 at Monmouth County Park System’s Sunnyside Equestrian Center. The five-day data collection trial used Equine Assisted Activities Therapy (EAAT) to measure the physiological indicators of stress and well-being in humans and horses. The sample collection was completed with a follow up standing control that was conducted using the same horses on June 5, 2016 without EAAT interaction taking place.

“The Effect of EAAT on the Well-Being of Horses, and Veterans Diagnosed with PTSD,” talk focused on preliminary findings that will be published later this year or early next spring.

In a partnership between The Rutgers University Equine Science Center, Special People United to Ride (SPUR), Sunnyside Recreation Area (a division of the Monmouth County Park System), Monmouth University, and the Lakewood Veterans Affairs, the study aimed to provide data on how EAAT affects the horses that are interacting with humans during therapy.

The veterans, six men and one woman, answered questions about their symptoms, before and after interacting with the horses. They did not ride the horses, they groomed, led, pet or merely spoke to the horses.

Heart rate, heart rate variability and levels of the hormones cortisol and oxytocin were measured in the horses to determine their stress levels, before, during and after the sessions.

The veterans indicated substantial reductions in their PTSD symptoms after interacting with the horses. They did not show significant physiological effects such as lowered blood pressure, but their heart rates did decrease.

The horses showed no significant changes in cortisol levels, indicating that the sessions were not stressful to them.

Oxytocin levels also showed no significant changes either, indicating the horses sense of well-being did not change because of the interaction with the veterans. Other studies have shown that when dogs and humans interact with each other, oxytocin levels increased in both. Oxytocin has anti-stress affects, such as reducing cortisol levels.

Dr. Malinowski concluded that more studies are warranted on the subject.

The evening also included an update on a study by Ph D. candidate Dylan Klein called “Fit as a Horse: Body Composition and Aerobic Capacity During Training and Detraining.” Results so far show that exercise increases oxygen uptake in both mares and geldings but once training was stopped, the geldings maintained their fitness better than the mares.

Several members of the New Jersey 4-H Roundup team which just returned from national competition were honored. Brittany Smith, of Warren County died her presentation on the history of the Triple Crown, which placed fifth at the Eastern National 4-H Roundup in Kentucky a few days earlier.

A check from the 4-H program was also presented to the Equine Science Center. The money was raised at the New Jersey State 4-H Horse Show in August.

Other awards presented were the Spirit of the Horse to Laurie Landy, founder of Special Strides Therapeutic Riding and the Gold Medal Horse Farm honor to Dorsett Arabians.

See more Equestrian news at www.TAPintoHorses.net

Find us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TAPintoHorses/

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

South Brunswick-Cranbury

Upcoming Events

Sun, April 29, 2:00 PM

Otto Kaufman Community Center, Skillman

Relax, Rejuvenate, Renew

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_655bff643922e36ca526_color_me_flyer_final_cut__3_-page-001

Sat, May 5, 9:00 AM

Sewaren

Color Me Run to End Domestic Violence

Sat, May 5, 8:00 PM

Bergen Performing Arts Center, Englewood

New Jersey Ballet's An Evening of Romance and ...

Arts & Entertainment

South Brunswick and Cranbury Police Blotter

August 9, 2017

Sponsored by Reilly's Collision Center in Monmouth Junction. Click here and scroll down for the latest updates and alerts from South Brunswick and Cranbury Police.

See the most recent messages from South Brunswick Twp Police Department, powered by Nixle.

Gun-wielding suspect drives robbery victim to bank with two young children in tow

April 11, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK - Rutgers police are investigating a lunchtime robbery on Tuesday in front of Campbell Hall, 617 George St., on the College Avenue campus, which involved two young children and a trip to a Somerset Street bank.

The victim, who is affiliated with Rutgers University, reported that he was walking near Campbell Hall dorm at 12:30 p.m. when a vehicle, ...

South Brunswick: Mayor Killmurray’s Funeral Plans Announced, Township Prepares For Administration Change

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – Township officials announced funeral plans for Mayor Christopher Killmurray and plans to deal with filling his position and a second one on the Council.

Killmurray, 55, died at home Sunday morning after battling brain cancer for several years.

According to the township, a viewing is scheduled for 3-7 p.m. Wednesday at St. Cecilia’s Roman Catholic Church at ...

South Brunswick: Mayor Christopher Killmurray, 55, Dies

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – Township Mayor Christopher Killmurray died at home Sunday morning, officials announced.

In an alert to residents, Township Manager Bernard Hvozdovic said that Killmurray, 55, passed away at home surrounded by his family after battling brain cancer for several years.

A Democrat, Killmurray was first elected to the Township Council in 2003 and served as deputy ...

Op-Ed: New Jersey’s Out-of-Network Bill is a huge blow to the middle-class

April 11, 2018

As Trenton currently looks to balance the budget, once again it’s our state’s hardest working citizens who will be left holding the bag. This time, though, it will be the hardworking office and ancillary staff from our small business private medical practices.  A bill called “The Out-of-Network Consumer Protection Bill” A-2039/S-485 looks poised to make ...

State Attorney General Releases Princeton Panera Shooting Video

April 9, 2018

TRENTON – The Attorney General’s Office today released surveillance footage related to the March 20th shooting at Panera Bread in Princeton, New Jersey, during which state troopers fatally shot Scott L. Mielentz, 56, of Lawrenceville, N.J.

The shooting remains under investigation by the Attorney General’s Shooting Response Team (“SRT”).  However, certain ...

April 12 Webinar "Are You Stressing Your Horse Out?

Dr. Williams will be hosting the webinar "Are You 'Stressing Out' Your Horse? Understanding Types of Stress & How to Manage or Reduce Each."

The presentation will be next Thursday, April 12th at 12:p.m. To join the webinar go https://demo.bigbluebutton.org/b/rooms/ca-70ef9c13/EquineStressWilliams prior to the meeting. 

Test your connection early to ensure ...

Somerset: KPS Garage Offers Spring Time Special

Don't let the weather fool you Spring is here, and KPS Garage is offering a special new and existing customers!

1) Freewheel alignment with the purchase of four tires

2) Spring has Sprung Special $29.95

Change oil & filter 
Free tire rotation
Free 30 point safety inspection

exclusions apply

3) Free pair of Bosch wiper blades with any service or ...