Reactivity of foals to an unknown environment: open round pen

<p><b>:</b> The aim of the present study was to verify the reactivity and habituation of foals on the open round pen. Eleven foals, six males and five females, ranging in age from 8 to 11 months, were used. The foals were separated from the group and taken individually to the open round pen for four consecutive days, where they remained for two minutes. Behavioral observations of the animals were performed by the continuous visual method. There was no effect (p>0.05) on any of the variables according to score, gender or day. All the animals kept walking, explored or remained vigilant inside the round pen (score 2, 5 and 6, respectively, of Movement), kept their eyes attentive (score 2 of Position of the Eyes), and their ears moved frequently (score 3 of Position of the Ears), did not snort (score 2 for Snorting) and did not attempt to escape (score 2). The Vocalization variable had the most variation in the frequency of occurrence of the scores, with 60% of score 1 (absent) and 34,77% of score 2 (occasional). Foals, males and females, remain alert to the first section of contact with the open round pen. The use of the open pen can contributed to the reactivity of the horses, making them calmer when being able to visualize other animals, without taking away their attention to the new environment.</p>