Dressage riders position 3 times to a greater extent than tension on the reins than the horses themselves adopted when voluntarily allowed to laid the pressure level of side reins.
Lara Piccolo together with Kathrin Kienapfel, writing inward the periodical Animals, dot out that also much rein tension spell riding may compromise Equus caballus welfare. But who generates the tension on the reins — the Equus caballus or the rider?
The pair, from Ruhr-University Bochum inward Germany, described a airplane pilot written report inward which they laid out to evaluate the maximum rein tension that horses voluntarily adopt when wearing side reins ready so the horses adopted a expert dressage seat for their caput together with neck.
“We assumed that horses exercised inward dressage frame alongside side reins without a passenger volition self-maintain a relatively comfortable rein tension,” they said.
Rein tension was measured yesteryear sensors on thirteen horses, all of whom had completed basic dressage training, at the walk, trot, together with canter inward both directions inward a circular pen.
They together with then compared those results alongside the rein tensions used yesteryear riders inward an opened upwardly riding arena to proceed the same horses alongside their caput together with cervix inward a dressage posture.
Without a rider, all horses maintained a rein tension forcefulness of close 1kg inward all gaits.
For the same horses alongside a rider, rein tension forcefulness was significantly higher, at close 3kg on each side to hold the dressage posture.
All phases of the written report were videoed. Analysis of that footage revealed that conflict demeanour was higher alongside a passenger than without.
Discussing their findings, the researchers said their results propose it is possible to hold the right dressage position, alongside the nasal business on or slightly inward front end of the vertical, alongside relatively depression rein tension.
“Since rein tension may hold upwardly an aversive stimulus that tin displace discomfort or pain, it is of import to proceed the strength of this stimulus equally depression equally possible.
“It mightiness thence hold upwardly assumed equally ideal that, spell riding, the horse’s self-selected rein tension when equipped alongside side reins should non hold upwardly exceeded.”
They said the issue of conflict behaviours per infinitesimal when ridden was close 5 times greater than without a rider.
“Higher numbers of conflict behaviours tin dot discomfort and/or stress, so beingness ridden could hold upwardly perceived equally stressful yesteryear the horses inward this study.
“Since the head-neck seat remained the same for both states, alongside the noseline at or slightly inward front end of the vertical, together with alone the passenger was added, it is reasonable to assume that factors related to the passenger are the fundamental difference.
“It is reasonable to assume that rein tension greater than that which was adopted without a passenger may hold upwardly potentially painful.
“Of course, at that spot are other aspects of carrying together with interacting alongside a passenger that could contribute to discomfort and/or stress.
“Nonetheless, an improvement of the score of rein tension spell riding could Pb to less discomfort together with thence fewer expressions of discomfort.”
The twosome acknowledged that beingness a airplane pilot study, at that spot were limitations, including the modest issue of horses.
They said the written report volition hold upwardly expanded alongside higher numbers together with refinements inward the written report pattern to render broader insights.
“A farther destination is to brand the side yesteryear side pace into edifice a large database on finding the acceptable rein tension for most horses, which does non adversely deport upon their welfare.”
In conclusion, they said the findings dot that higher rein tension may hold upwardly primarily generated yesteryear the rider.
“The results propose the potential to decide the amount of rein forcefulness exhibited yesteryear the Equus caballus together with the rider, which provides interesting insights into the horse-rider interaction together with may hold upwardly a useful tool for the private preparation of the rider.
“Understanding together with lowering the peak forces acting on the oral fissure of the Equus caballus could heighten equine welfare inward daily riding practice.”
Voluntary Rein Tension inward Horses When Moving Unridden inward a Dressage Frame Compared alongside Ridden Tests of the Same Horses — H5N1 Pilot Study
Lara Piccolo together with Kathrin Kienapfel
Animals 2019, 9(6), 321; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060321