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I have a question about things horses wear on their heads

(22 Posts)
Saltire Thu 20-Jun-13 18:45:04

Been watching Royal Ascot.
Various horses had different things on their heads.

Some had black hood type things with eye holes
Some had what looked like foam/fur bands down the side of their face
Some had what looked like a white rose on their nose

Can any kind person please tell me what the purpose of these things are?

GlitterFingers Thu 20-Jun-13 18:49:56

I also want to know. Tell us pleaseee

Slipshodsibyl Thu 20-Jun-13 18:51:58

Generally for some kind of protection against sensitivity to noise/visual distractions (with eyes positioned as they are, horses see backwards and some personalities don't like it or lost concentration).

I expect the white rose was soft material / sheepskin, forming a soft protective padding at the crossover of two leather parts of a nose.

Slipshodsibyl Thu 20-Jun-13 18:53:04

Of a nose band that should say.

JellyMould Thu 20-Jun-13 18:54:38

The hood are to give 'blinkers' to prevent the horse getting distracted by things happening at the side of them. The fluffy cheek pieces are also to stop distractions at the side. White rose I'm not sure?

Pixel Thu 20-Jun-13 19:00:08

Was it like this?. If so it's just padding to protect the nose from being rubbed by the noseband, as Sibyl said.

Butkin Thu 20-Jun-13 23:14:56

The items that have to be officially declared are:

Hood (which has covers for the ears and are usually designed - in conjunction with ear muffs) to stop the horse being distracted by the noise.

Blinkers -with cups over the eyes to make them concentrate on what is in front of them.

Visor - like blinkers but a slit in the cup. These still concentrate the mind but allows the horse to see what other horses are coming up alongside.

Cheekpieces - these are sheepskin (brown or white) which go down the side of the bridle, attached to the cheekpieces. They do the same job as blinkers but are less obvious and often used if trainers don't want to resort to blinkers.

Pacifiers - unusual here but popular in places like Hong Kong they are like blinkers but with mesh over the eye cups - supposed to relax the horse.

Tongue tie - to tie the horse's tongue down and stop them getting it over the bit which inhibits air flow.

We don't declare sheepskin nosebands (shadowrolls) which are declared in places like Dubai, cross nosebands (which can have sheepskin on the cross over to stop rubbing) or ring bits although some countries require declaration of these items.

We don't allow nasal strips here - they are allowed in the States etc.

TheSecondComing Thu 20-Jun-13 23:18:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 20-Jun-13 23:20:53

Kukluxklan disguise is probably an anti fly measure.

frostyfingers Fri 21-Jun-13 13:51:40

The sheepskin noseband is used to encourage a horse to drop its' head - it can't see over the noseband so lower's its' head - that's the theory I believe.

Yup KKK outfits are to keep flies/midges away.

Saltire Fri 21-Jun-13 21:07:19

Thank you for the replies!

Butkin Fri 21-Jun-13 21:57:21

We saw that lady on Homes Under the Hammer with the horses in her back paddock. Glad she was putting her fields to good use... Yes they are anti-fly measures as said previously. We have ours covered from ears to tails in special rugs which are cool and breathable but anti-fly and UV light so their coats don't bleach out in the sunlight. On the night before shows we put on lycra hoods and bodies to get their coats spot on.

superfluouscurves Sat 22-Jun-13 11:17:05

And occasionally you will see a horse after a race with what look like cherries bouncing around on their forehead ... or that they have just been listening to their favourite track on a horse-sized Ipod ... in fact they are

horse ear plugs!

Butkin Sat 22-Jun-13 21:41:48

It is against the rules to pull out ear plugs during a race in Britain!! The French like to do it...

Chibbs Thu 15-Aug-13 23:32:09

why is that? so the sudden noise scares then into going faster?

Butkin Fri 16-Aug-13 10:52:08

Yes that is the theory - as horses are bred for fright = flight.

Mr Wildenstein instructed his jockey to take out the ear plugs years ago at Royal Ascot and got into a lot of trouble for doing so (in France they have a little leather strap across the horses poll to make it easy).

In most countries it is to keep them calm when the noise of the paddock/grandstand hits them. Similarly most show horses have ear plugs for this reason.

lovebeansontoast Fri 16-Aug-13 16:20:29

I should also add that my horse is frightened by the KluKluxKlan outfits, and can't figure that they are actually other

goodasitgets Sat 17-Aug-13 03:54:01

We had one of those zebra stripe rugs once. Was hung over a stable door, I led horse round, she slammed the brakes on, snorted and refused to move
I'm not sure whether she thought it was a very flat horse, or a dead zebra but either way she wasn't going near it grin

Pixel Sat 17-Aug-13 18:15:26

Mmm <strokes chin>
Sounds like a good way of stopping your horse from being beaten up in the field. I can imagine them all cowering in a corner whilst dhorse strolls around dressed as a scary zebra grin.

goodasitgets Sat 17-Aug-13 18:26:50

Mind you, current horse took a fancy to a cob wearing a full fly mask with ears yesterday. She was practically batting her eyelashes and staring at him grin
No accounting for taste wink

willyoulistentome Fri 06-Sep-13 21:55:57

I was accosted by a man walking along the footpath past our field once as I was turning out my horse in her fly mask. He was very aggressive and wanted to know why some of the horses were blindfolded. He was very upset and shouty until I told him they could see pefectly well and the masks were to keep the flies off them. I got the feeling he wanted a fight, but felt a prat when he realised what it was.

Pixel Fri 06-Sep-13 23:35:13

Dhorse ripped his flymask to pieces on a blackberry bush the other day, the underneath part was completely shredded. I managed to replace the torn part but the only stretchy material I could find was a pair of dh's old pants. Does this count as horse abuse too? grin

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