Yesterday the Danish Equestrian Federation announced a new rule regulating tightness of nosebands. The rule will require a measurement of at least 1.5 cm between the nasal plate of the horse and the noseband, and will apply to all types of nosebands beginning in 2018.
Noseband tightness has become a hot topic across equestrian disciplines in recent years as riders, officials and trainers gauge the potential for abuse from equipment. In response to this, the Danish Equestrian Federation launched a study in 2014 to explore the impact of equestrian equipment on horses.
The study, which is scheduled for publication in scientific journals later this year, included 3000 horses and examined bits, nosebands, spurs and whips across multiple disciplines.
“The tightness of the nasal band had a very clear connection to the occurrence of oral lesions,” the Danish Equestrian Federation said in a translated statement. “The tighter the nasal band was, the more mouth lesions were recorded. Equipment that started at higher level of competition had a higher prevalence of oral lesions than lower-level equipment.
“The study shows a clear correlation between tight nosebands and the presence of mouth lesions, and we do not want the use of equipment in the sport to cause lesions in the horse’s mouth.”
The rule will take effect across all disciplines January 1, 2018. Competitors whose tack does not comply will be asked to loosen their nosebands before resuming competitions. Multiple violations of this rule will result in sanctions.
For the remainder of 2017, selected Technical Delegates will take sample measurements at competition and test measurement methods, though no sanctions will be given out as a result this year.
What do you think, EN? Should North America follow suit? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.