Noseband type and tightness: effect on eye temperature and blink rate standing and eating a treat

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation at Conference


Equine 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
Event title9th International Conference on Canine and Equine Locomotion
Event typeConference
LocationUtrecht, NetherlandsShow on map