In order to raise awareness for horse health and welfare, a national noseband measuring pilot was conducted in Canada during the 2021 competitive season.
Equestrian Canada Stewards will discuss the findings from this national noseband measuring pilot on November 30 in a free webinar.
The Equestrian Canada (EC) Equine Health and Welfare Committee is committed to fostering maximum welfare for our equine partners and athletes. As part of this commitment, EC is introducing “Noseband November”, with the goal to educate and create awareness in the equestrian community about factors to consider with the use of nosebands.
The Science regarding the use of nosebands continues to evolve in equestrian activities and sport. Although there is a long history of their use in a variety of disciplines, competition rules that we can all agree on indicate that nosebands should not cause pain or restrict breathing to a horse. The current scientifically recognized measurement for tightness is the placement of two adult fingers between the noseband and the frontal nasal plane.
Noseband Measuring Pilot
In order to better understand the use of nosebands in Canadian equestrian sport, the committee worked together with athletes and other equine professionals to conduct a noseband measuring project this past year.
Currently at the end of the competition measuring phase, the pilot saw 550 on the ground measurements submitted by volunteer pilot stewards across the country.
The pilot has offered a foundational base of knowledge of noseband tightness in the competition setting. One of the learnings has been that measurement is not currently standardized. Because 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 across all disciplines.
Webinar on 30 November
Throughout the month of November, EC’s goal is to educate the community, create awareness and start conversations about how nosebands are used. We encourage riders to share photos checking noseband tightness while tacking up this month and use the hashtag #nosebandnovember.
The next phase of the pilot project is to focus on a more in-depth exploration of key learnings and recommendations from the stewards who participated in the pilot project, including a group debrief and a public panel discussion. Anyone interested in learning more about the pilot and equine health and welfare are encouraged to join the free webinar on Nov. 30, 2021 at 7 p.m. ET.
The theme of the panel is: How can we apply science to improve noseband tightness in Canadian Equestrian sport? Following the panel, a stakeholder survey will be circulated.
The panel will include:
Diane Goyette, General R2 Steward / Basic Dressage Steward
Susan Legge, Senior National General Steward
Brett Filson, Senior Dressage Steward / General R2 Steward
Allan Ehrlick, Senior General Steward
On the Ignorance of Noseband Tightness and Vague FEI Noseband Rules
Noseband Special: Part I: The History of the Noseband
Noseband Special: Part II: The Purpose of the Noseband
Noseband Special: Part III: Riders and Trainers on Their Choice in Noseband
Noseband Special: Part IV: The Thicker, the Wider, the Better?
ISES Suggest to Empower FEI Stewards to Control Tightness of Noseband
An Investigation into Noseband Tightness Levels on Competition Horses
New Rule for Noseband Tightness for Competition Horses in Denmark