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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a question. Do horses like music in barns? Surely scientific studies have been done evaluating their vital signs when various types of music is played. I know many barns have music. People like it and fight over radio stations and such but does it have any effect on horses who live there?
 

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I don't think there's anything conclusive. I'm sure I've read some music has been shown to increase stress levels (rock, punk, death metal etc) but I suspect you'd find a similar result with people, too. Even if they're enjoying it. I know of another study that seemed to suggest classical music improved milking performance in diary cows but whether horses feel the same way about that is unclear.

Best think I'd suggest is just asking the said horses up front for their opinion on which station they like best.
 

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I regularly play music when I tack up and when I ride. I've never noticed a horse caring one way or another. I think they just get used to it like anything else.

I find that even the elk don't seem to mind it! I play music on my phone out riding in the forest sometimes and the elk are just starring at me like "what the heck is that?" Like they are more curious than anything.

I don't have a barn-proper, so the horses only listen to music when I am with them. But they don't seem to care either way.


If anything, I would think it would make everything more relaxed because it makes the person more relaxed. Like if I'm riding a green horse, I will play music just to help keep me relaxed. So that should benefit the horse because it benefits ME, I would think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have a rather high strung Saddlebred and my own barn. I think classical music might relax him so I am going to try it. I can take his pulse to see if it has any effect. Soft melodious music such as Bebussy's Clair de Lune Not a lot of Bach's repetative rapid rythms which sounds like someone hopped up on too much tea. Or Wagner which can actually be scary, think Ride of the Valkyries.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I regularly play music when I tack up and when I ride. I've never noticed a horse caring one way or another. I think they just get used to it like anything else.

I find that even the elk don't seem to mind it! I play music on my phone out riding in the forest sometimes and the elk are just starring at me like "what the heck is that?" Like they are more curious than anything.

I don't have a barn-proper, so the horses only listen to music when I am with them. But they don't seem to care either way.


If anything, I would think it would make everything more relaxed because it makes the person more relaxed. Like if I'm riding a green horse, I will play music just to help keep me relaxed. So that should benefit the horse because it benefits ME, I would think.
I used to do that. I played music on a mobile CD player on my saddle. It was like riding in nature to a movie soundtrack. It also alerts bears so they leave the trail.
 

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We played some music once to see how our guys liked it. Moonshine seemed to like it; she was a Simon and Garfunkel fan, to my surprise. Pony seemed to like it but not really care that much. Teddy, predictably, was super worried about it ("Why is there sound? Where is it coming from? I don't understand!"). So, in my limited experience, it depends on the horse.
 

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I grew up in the 60’s — I was a die hard rock n roller but NOT in the barn.

SIL’s Quarter Horse seemed unaffected by the change in music but there was a huge difference in my Arab/Saddlebred’s level of angst if I turned to a station that played country music. He was a lot calmer listening to country-western, which is what it was called back then. We experimented enough to know we were not going to be listening to rock n roll in the barn:)


I was raised on a small dairy farm. Dad always had the “elevator” music playing when the cows came in the barn at night, in the hope it would calm them, thus producing more milk. This was back in 1950’s when there was no such thing as digital milking and Fitbits for milk cows. High tech dairy farmers put Fitbits on their cows - mercy how far we have come from hand milking in 50’s:)
@argoASB, I think you should experiment with the classical music in the barn but make it the softer music, nothing with sharp or shrill violin tones:)
 

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We had the radio on when we were working, when the horses were in during the day and sometimes it was left on during the night if it was stormy or fireworks night. Some of the owners thought that they might associate the music with people which would help them to settle. I'm not sure that they cared.

I remember reading that country music produced better results than other genres; ours had to make do with the local station and pop music!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I had some experience on the race track as a kid. That is that is right. Many barns have country music (naturally) such as this
 

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Growing up on trace tracks in the 70s we had rock or motown going.

Now, the day starts with mariachi. With occasional blues or rock thrown in. I like high energy music of all kinds, so will occasionally put on thrash grass.

Horses are happy, healthy, and interested in their activities.
 

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The radio in the office probably isn't powerful enough to be distinct from ordinary people noises. I do sing to the horses. Jasper (subtly) walks slower or faster depending on the song tempo, but that may equally be my body language. At best, he probably connects the singing to me as a positive trait. (Also, I sing songs about him, so he may recognize his name in them.)

I remember a study in shelter dogs that suggested reggae was one of the top most calming genres.
 

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I have a rather high strung Saddlebred and my own barn. I think classical music might relax him so I am going to try it. I can take his pulse to see if it has any effect. Soft melodious music such as Bebussy's Clair de Lune Not a lot of Bach's repetative rapid rythms which sounds like someone hopped up on too much tea. Or Wagner which can actually be scary, think Ride of the Valkyries.
I know first hand that horses do not like Puccini arias sung by an old woman while doing the morning feed. I could tell by the faces they were making.
 

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If I have country music on in the barn the horses pay no attention but, when I turn on talk radio they come into the stalls and stand. They act like the sound of a human talking draws them.
 
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