WHAT YOUR HORSE WANTS YOU TO KNOW ABOUT NOSEBANDS
Reference: “Evidence for marsh mallow (Malva parviflora) toxicosis causing myocardial disease and myopathy in four horses,” Equine Veterinary Journal, June 2016
A noseband tight enough to immobilize a horse’s jaw can cause measurable stress, according to new research from Australia.
Researchers at Kandoo Equine in New South Wales and the University of Sydney measured stress responses in 12 horses wearing double bridles with “crank” nosebands, which have a leveraged buckle that allows a very tight fit and are typically used to keep a horse’s mouth closed. None of the study horses had worn this type of bridle and noseband before, a choice made by researchers to minimize any possible effects of habituation.
Over a four-day period, each horse was bridled daily for 30-minute periods with the noseband tightened to one of four levels for 10 minute treatments: • unfastened (UN) • conventional area under noseband (CAUN), meaning two fingers would fit between the lower strap and the jaw
• half conventional area under noseband (HCAUN)
• no area under noseband (NAUN).
Prior to each treatment, the horses were placed in a test area and their behavior was filmed for 10 minutes. At the same time, baseline physiological data were collected---the horses’ heart rates were recorded and their eye temperatures were measured via a thermal camera every minute. “The eye is the often called the window to the brain,” explains Kate Fenner, BSc,
A DOUBLE BRIDLE WITH A CRANK NOSEBAND