Effect of noseband tightness on facial pressure during standing and chewing

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation at Conference


Little information is available describing the relationship between noseband tightness and facial pressure. The objective was to compare dorsal nasal and ventral mandibular pressures associated with a cavesson noseband adjusted to different tightness. Four dressage horses were equipped with two small pressure mats (160×80 mm, 1.5 mm thick, 64 sensors/mat) mid-dorsally (nasal) and mid-ventrally (mandibular) beneath a cavesson noseband fitted by a qualified bridle fitter. Noseband tightness was adjusted between 2 to 0 fingers in half-finger increments (2/1.5/1/0.5/0 fingers) using an ISES taper gauge. Noseband pressures were recorded for 10 s while horses stood still with the head-neck in a neutral position and for 10 s while chewing a treat. Data were analysed using Wilcoxon signed rank test (2 groups) and Friedmans with post hoc Wilcoxon (3 groups) with P<0.05. Mean pressures increased from 2 to 0 finger tightness for nasal (standing: 0.70 to 8.30 kPa; chewing: 2.78 to 14.56 kPa) and mandibular (standing: 1.15 to 12.21 kPa; chewing: 3.40 to 16.57 kPa) locations. Mean nasal and mandibular pressures differed between tightness levels when standing (P=0.004) and when eating (P≤0.007) with 2.0 and 1.5 fingers having lower mean pressure than 0.5 and 0 fingers in both locations. The results confirmed that tighter nosebands generate higher facial pressures. Chewing was associated with higher mean pressures than standing, particularly on the mandibles. Even so, horses readily accepted and chewed the treats, suggesting the pressures were not aversive. Although research has focussed on nasal pressures, these measurements indicate the importance of mandibular pressure.Noseband type and tightness: effect on eye temperature and blink rate standing and eating a treatV. Walker1, H. Clayton2, J. Williams1, J. Nixon3, M. Fisher4, D. Fisher4 and R. MacKechnie-Guire11Hartpury University, Hartpury, Gloucester, United Kingdom, 2Michigan State University, Lansing, MI, USA, 3Nixon Equine, Overton Fields, Towcester rd, United Kingdom, 4Woolcroft Equine Services, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom; victoria.walker@hartpury.ac.ukEquine eye temperature and blink rate have been used as potential indicators of stress. The objectives were to quantify eye temperature (ET) and blink rate (BR) in horses fitted with different noseband types and tightness. In a cross-over design, a cavesson, crank, flash, drop and no-noseband were fitted to four unridden advanced dressage horses. Noseband tightness was adjusted using a modified (with 0.5 finger increments) ISES taper gauge with tightness starting at 2 fingers, increasing by 0.5 finger increments to 0, each maintained for 237 s maximum. Horses were measured standing square and chewing a treat. An infrared thermal camera quantified ET (°C) at the medial canthus at three-time points: baseline (B), immediately after noseband tightening (T), and end of 20 s trial (E). BR was recorded per minute throughout. Data were analysed using Wilcoxon and Kruskall-Wallis with post-hoc Mann-Whitney U tests (P<0.05). While standing, the action of noseband tightening had no effect on ET (P≥0.05). ET at E was lower for cavesson (mean±SD: 32.4±0.5°) than drop (33.2±0.3°), crank (33.3±0.6°), no noseband (33.1±0.3°) and baseline (33.9±0.0°)(P<0.05). While chewing, noseband tightness and type had a significant effect on ET at T and E (P<0.05). Cavesson (T:32.6±0.9°, E:32.6±0.7°) was lower than crank (T:33.0±0.3°, E:33.0±0.4°), drop (T:33.0±0.5°, E:33.0±0.7°), and no noseband (T:33.5±0.4°, E: 33.0±0.7°, P<0.01). Flash ET (T:32.8±1.0°, E:33.1±0.3°) was lower than no noseband (T:33.5±0.4°, P=0.0001, E:33.0±0.7°, P=0.003). BR did not differ between noseband type or tightness for standing or treat condition (P>0.05). The cavesson was associated with the lowest ET both standing and chewing.
PeriodAug 2023
Event title9th International Conference on Canine and Equine Locomotion
Event typeConference
LocationUtrecht, NetherlandsShow on map