ISES Releases Statement on Noseband Tightness

To ensure fairness and safeguard horse welfare, noseband tightness should be officially evaluated prior to equestrian competitions, according to the International Society for Equitation Science (ISES).

In its position statement released yesterday (Jan. 30), the ISES announced that the traditional “two finger rule” should be applied with nosebands in competitions. This rule requires that at least two average-sized adult fingers be able to fit easily between the noseband and the horse’s nasal midline. To verify compliance, show stewards should officially measure the noseband tightness with a taper gauge, the statement indicated.

“The gauge should be placed without force and be clearly marked to show the desired stop which, in alignment with established industry guidance, should be the dimensions of two average adult fingers,” the statement read. “Riders should be advised and encouraged to use the same gauge in practice.”

Noseband tightness directly affects rein tension, suggesting that it increases sensitivity to the bit, according to Hayley Randle, PhD, researcher in the equitation science department at Duchy College in Cornwall, U.K. “Careful consideration needs to be given to the fitting of nosebands and in particular riders’ use of noseband tightness as a means to achieve a required outcome in equitation,” she said during her presentation at the 2011 ISES Conference, held Oct. 26-29 in Hooge Mierde, The Netherlands.

Tight nosebands could mask “problem behavior, bad training, and/or pain caused by the bit,” today’s ISES statement added. Without nosebands, some horses might display undesired behavior in the show ring such as opening, gaping, and crossing the jaw, resulting in penalties under current dressage rules, according to an associated ISES press release. “The practice of over-tightening nosebands to avoid penalties in competition is covering up poor training at the expense of horse welfare,” the release read.

The revised edition of Olympic Equestrian highlights and chronicles the most celebrated equestrian athletes in the sport where men and women compete on a level playing field.

Dressage rules are designed to “promote excellent training and the demonstration of qualities such as freedom, harmony, lightness, and acceptance of the bit without tension,” the release continued. “Thus, nosebands may hinder effective judging.”

The new recommendation does not propose consequences of using over-tight nosebands at this time.

The full statement, including references to supporting research, is available online.


About Tori Gable

Prior to Real Estate I held a position at Bank of America in Private Banking as a Senior Relationship Associate and Fiduciary Specialist. Due to my exposure with high-net worth individual and the experience of the procedures of Trust accounts I am now the 1st contact for many Private Client Service Managers and the sale of properties held in trust. In addition to my experience managing many trust accounts for Bank of America, I was responsible for managing an array of products for our clients including mortgages and money management. My wide base of knowledge provides me the ability to manage my client’s entire transaction and allows me to excel in my chosen profession of Real Estate. I began my Real Estate Career by partnering with one of the biggest brokers in Beverly Hills – June Scott Her reputation, knowledge, and experience were unsurpassed. Our client base was the elite of Hollywood, many producers, celebrities, and business managers. I was with June at Coldwell Banker for the 1st year of my career, while honing my own skills I was able to learn from one of the best in the industry again adding to my ability to manage my client’s entire transaction. After working with June Scott I partnered up with Jade Mills as a buyers agent Jade being another legendary broker in Beverly Hills gave me the edge I needed to gain wide exposure. This experience also gave me the exposure to the multi-million dollar Real Estate market, as our average listing was upwards of $4MM. The list of power house brokers I am associated with opens many doors in this business for me, in addition to gaining instant respect from not only new brokers but brokers that have been in the business for 20 or more years. This business is about relationships, not only with your client base but with your peer group. Earning the respect and recognition of my associates has allowed me to be extremely successful and provide top notch service to my clients. Currently I am with Prudential California Realty in the PacificDesignCenter. I have partnered with two agents that are in the top 3% off all Prudential agents nationwide. Collectively we have over 25 years of experience, are managing an average of 5-8 listings per month, and are working with numerous buyer clients. By joining forces we expanded our advertising budget and ability to handle all of our clients needs.
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