Canada clamping down on tight nosebands in horse sport

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Equestrian Canada is working towards the implementation of a rule that reflects scientific recommendations that an equine’s noseband should not be tight enough to prevent the placement of two adult fingers between the noseband and the frontal nasal plane.
Image by Digwen

Equestrian Canada (EC) is looking to refine its rules over tight nosebands in horse sport and is launching a pilot project to assess current noseband use, rider compliance, and to find where education and awareness is needed.

The pilot will also look at training requirements for assessing compliance, and will involve 25 to 30 EC officials at all levels of sanctioned competition across the country.

EC’s Equine Health and Welfare Committee will be working towards the implementation of a rule that reflects scientific recommendations that an equine’s noseband should not be tight enough to prevent the placement of two adult fingers between the noseband and the frontal nasal plane.

As the size of two fingers can vary between the person who applied the noseband to the equine and the official assessing compliance with the rule, the committee plans to recommend the standardized use of the International Society for Equitation Science (ISES) Taper Gauge to help ensure consistent measurements and an equine welfare-friendly field of play.

In a notice to members, EC’s Industry and Development Director Kristy Laroche said the Equine Health and Welfare Committee was committed to ensuring the best welfare for horses and riders.

“As part of this commitment, it is imperative that our policies and the EC Rules for all disciplines are aligned with current, science-based research.

“A shift like this, though much needed and welcomed by the community, will require significant communication to and education for both officials and competitors,” Laroche said.

“If approached to participate in the pilot by an EC Official, please consider participating to help inform the future implementation and education strategy for this exciting project.”

Equestrian Canada is looking to refine its rules over tight nosebands in horse sport and is launching a pilot project to assess current noseband use, rider compliance, and to find where education and awareness is needed.
Photo by Elisa Pitkänen

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