The following notice was sent to Equestrian Canada members on June 1st:
The Equestrian Canada (EC) Equine Health and Welfare Committee is committed to ensuring that EC facilitates maximum welfare for our equine partners and athletes. As part of this commitment, it is imperative that our policies and the EC Rules for all disciplines are aligned with current, science-based research.
With this goal in mind, the Equine Health and Welfare Committee will be working towards the implementation of a rule that reflects the scientific recommendations (Fenner et al. 2016; McGreevy et al. 2012; Randle and McGreevy 2013; Pospisil et al. 2014; Casey et al. 2013; Murray et al. 2015; Doherty 2016) that an equine’s noseband should not be tight enough to prevent the placement of two adult fingers between the noseband and the frontal nasal plane. As the size of two fingers can vary between the person who applied the noseband to the equine and the official assessing compliance with the rule, the committee plans to recommend the standardized use of the International Society for Equitation Science (ISES) Taper Gauge to help ensure consistent measurements and an equine welfare-friendly field of play.
A shift like this, though much needed and welcomed by the community, will require significant communication to and education for both officials and competitors. To that end, a pilot project will collect data focused on the following:
- Current compliance with proposed rule (i.e., current state of the industry);
- Where targeted education and awareness is needed;
- Competitor willingness to comply and adapt;
- Practicality; and,
- Training requirements for assessing compliance.
The pilot will take place with 25-30 EC Officials at all levels of EC-sanctioned competition across the country in 2021. If approached to participate in the pilot by an EC Official, please consider participating to help inform the future implementation and education strategy for this exciting project.
For questions regarding the noseband measuring pilot project, contact:
Director, Active Equine Industry and Development
Related reading: Noseband Science: How Tight is Too Tight for Your Horse?