Do noseband type and tightness affect pressure distribution beneath the noseband when ridden in trot

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation at Conference


The effects of noseband type and tightness on facial pressure are poorly described. This study quantifies pressure simultaneously over the nasal bones (nasal) and the mandibular rami (mandibular) for four noseband types fitted at five tightness levels. Four advanced dressage horses, evaluated subjectively to be free from lameness, were ridden by three advanced riders. Two small pressure mats (Pliance, 160×80 mm) were positioned between the noseband and the nasal bones and between the noseband and the mandibular rami. With all bridle features remaining the same, a cavesson/crank/flash/drop noseband was fitted in a random order to each horse by a qualified bridle fitter. Noseband tightness was adjusted using an ISES taper gauge increasing tightness by 0.5 finger increments (2/1.5/1/0.5/0 fingers). Nasal and mandibular mean noseband pressures were recorded for 10 strides as horse/rider trotted in a straight line. Data were analysed using two-way and one-way Anova with Bonferroni post hoc tests (P<0.05). Mean nasal pressures (kPa) influenced by noseband tightness (P=0.0004) were 2, 1.5, 1 vs 0 fingers and 2 vs 0.5 fingers (all P<0.01). With the noseband adjusted to 0 finger tightness, mean nasal pressures were 6.7 kPa drop, 10.8 kPa cavesson, 14.4 kPa flash and 14.4 kPa crank. Mean mandibular pressures influenced by noseband tightness (P=0.0004) were 2, 1.5, 1 vs 0 fingers and 2 vs 0.5 fingers (all P<0.004). With the noseband adjusted to 0 finger tightness, mean mandibular pressures were 14.5 kPa cavesson, 13.5 kPa flash, 19.9 kPa crank.Effect of a half pad and shims on pressure distribution when used under a wide saddleR. MacKechnie-Guire1, M. Fisher2, D. Fisher2, J. Beavis3, K. Allely3 and T. Pfau41Hartpury University, Gloucester, GL19 3BE, United Kingdom, 2Woolcroft Equine Services, Cambridgeshire, PE13 5BU, United Kingdom, 3Nat. Saddle Centre, Warwickshire, CV35 7AA, United Kingdom, 4University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada, Canada; fitters may fit a saddle wider than industry guidelines (Society of Master Saddlers (SMS)) and use a half pad to achieve correct saddle fit. Eight horses ridden by the same rider were recruited. Three qualified saddle fitters (SMS) fitted a correct width saddle (CWS), and a saddle which was one width fitting too wide (10 deg.) and corrected with a half pad (WS) and 13 mm closed-cell foam shims to each horse. A Pliance pressure mapping system was used to quantify mean/peak pressures (kPa) beneath the front/caudal regions of the saddle during straight-line walk, rising trot, 2-point trot and canter. Back dimensions were obtained immediately after CWS and WS using a flexible ruler shaped over the tenth thoracic vertebra (T10). The shape was traced onto graph paper, and the distance 3 and 15 cm ventral to the midline was measured. Data were analysed using paired t-test (parametric) or Wilcoxon Signed Rank test (non-parametric) (P≤0.05). For the WS compared to CWS, significantly higher mean front pressures (kPa) were found in walk (WS 14.2±1.7; CWS 11.0±1.8, P=0.01); rising trot (WS 10.9±1.7; CWS 9.1±2.2, P=0.01); 2-point trot (WS 18.0±1.6; CWS 16.2±3.0, P=0.01) and canter (WS 17.8±3.1; CWS 14.3±3.4, P≤0.001). No differences were found for caudal mean saddle pressure or front/caudal peak pressures (all >P=0.07). Back dimensions at T10 were significantly reduced (P=0.03) for the WS (15 cm: 29.8±1.43 cm) compared to CWS (31.2±2.4 cm). A wide saddle corrected with a half pad/shims may increase mean pressures in the front region of the saddle and affect back dimensions.
PeriodAug 2023
Event title9th International Conference on Canine and Equine Locomotion
Event typeConference
LocationUtrecht, NetherlandsShow on map