Bit, Noseband, Spur, and Whip Lesions in Competition Horses Studied

Most equestrians would be horrified to know they’re hurting their horses. But with the equipment we use—from spurs to nosebands—we might be unintentionally causing them harm.
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competition horse welfare
Most equestrians would be horrified to know they’re hurting their horses. But with the equipment we use—from spurs to nosebands—we might be unintentionally causing them harm. | Photo: iStock

Most equestrians would be horrified to know they’re hurting their horses during competition. But with the equipment we use—from spurs to nosebands—we might be unintentionally causing them harm.

To determine whip, spur, and noseband lesion prevalence, Hilary Clayton BVMS, PhD, Dipl. ACVSMR, MRCVS, of Sport Horse Science in the United States, and Mette Uldahl, DVM, Cert. Equine Diseases, of Vejle Hestepraksis in Denmark, Fédération Equestre Internationale National Head Veterinarian for Denmark, veterinary consultant for the Danish Equestrian Federation, and president of Federation of European Equine Veterinary Associations, conducted a study looking at this equipment’s effect on horses competing in dressage, show jumping, eventing, or endurance in Denmark.

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Freelance journalist Natalie DeFee Mendik is a multiple American Horse Publications editorial and graphics awards winner specializing in equestrian media. She holds an MA in English from Colorado State University and an International Federation of Journalists’ International press card, and is a member of the International Alliance of Equestrian Journalists. With over three decades of horse experience, Natalie’s main equine interests are dressage and vaulting. Having lived and ridden in England, Switzerland, and various parts of the United States, Natalie currently resides in Colorado with her husband and two girls.

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