Many riders enjoy listening to music at the barn. Various rhythms and pitches have the ability calm and excite people. Have you ever wondered whether your horse is affected by the sounds, as well? Now’s your chance to find out if you should turn up the volume or leave the barn silent.

What does research show?

1st Study: In Poland, researchers played music for a group of 3-year-old Arabians. They studied the emotional affect it had on them. Music was played to these racehorses for five hours a day, three months in a row. Their heart rates were monitored during rest, saddling, and warm-ups. Their racing performance was also observed.

The Results: Compared to the control group, the music-listening horses showed a performance boost and a calmer demeanor.

2nd Study: Claire Carter and Linda Greening of Hartpury College in Gloucester, England, observed eight Thoroughbred horses. These stabled geldings listened to 30 minutes of four types of music and 30 minutes without. Their behavior was noted.

The Results: The horses were observed as being restful and alert when listening to country and classical. With jazz and rock, they exhibited stressful behaviors like stamping and head tossing. Overall, the horses seemed content with no music, as well. However, they ate the calmest when country was on.

Music or No Music?

In addition to studies, many others comment on how soothing music can be for horses. Strong rhythms and short melodies can calm a horse during farrier and vet visits, grooming, riding, and when stabled. It can even distract your horse from other unpleasant sounds like thunder.

The music doesn’t have to be loud for your horse to enjoy it. In fact, the recommended volume is only 21 decibels.

So Cowgirls, don’t be afraid to listen to some country jams at the barn. You might actually be relaxing your horse in the process.

Check out Don’t Snooze Through This: How Horses Sleep for more cool facts!