1 Ears

Your Horse (UK) - - Horse Care -

Your horse has 14 muscles that he uses to con­trol the po­si­tion of his ears to com­mu­ni­cate with other horses and ex­press him­self. As a prey an­i­mal, his ears are highly sen­si­tive to the sound of preda­tors ap­proach­ing so he can flee from dan­ger. There are also many nerves that come out of the top of his skull to his ears.

Parts of the bri­dle to look at

If the head­piece is po­si­tioned in­cor­rectly it can pinch the ear nerves and muscles, caus­ing dis­com­fort. A shaped head­piece that fits around his ears will help to avoid pres­sure on this area.

A tight brow­band can pull the whole bri­dle for­ward onto the sen­si­tive area at the back of your horse’s ears. Check you can com­fort­ably run a finger around the in­side edge of your brow­band.

Ef­fect on your horse

Pres­sure at the base of the ears com­presses the sen­sory nerve end­ings. This re­duces the cir­cu­la­tion to the ear muscles, caus­ing a lac­tic acid build-up in the muscles and pain. If your horse can’t move his ears to hear ef­fec­tively, it causes anx­i­ety and his stress lev­els will rise. Other signs to look out for in­clude not lik­ing his ears be­ing touched, be­ing head shy and hav­ing an ab­nor­mal ear po­si­tion.

A head­piece and brow­band that al­low your horse to move his ears freely will help him re­lax while be­ing rid­den

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