Welcome to this week's HorseConscious Digest.
Well, it's been a busy day starting off with the forecasted snow shower, which meant I was clearing the pavement outside our house at 6:40am this morning as one is legally obliged to do here in Germany.
After going to the gym, it was off to pick up 3 cases of water for Elke's Mum and naturally shovelling snow for her. Then back home and the clearing of more snow, this time for Elke's twin sister's in-laws who live at the top of the road.
Then the egg lady arrived (a story for another day) and finally I managed to jump into the shower before settling down to work. Phew, busy boy.
Meanwhile , back in the world of horses, I received this email from Irene in response to last week's article on tight nosebands, thank you Irene:
"Professors of veterinary surgery - Robert Cook, Paul McGreevy, Sam Franklin and no doubt many other veterinary scientists have found that modern tack can cause severe health problems in horse’s from head to foot.
For example they all found that a tight nose-band (i.e. strapping the mouth shut) restricts or even cut off cuts off blood supply to the face, - so deadening the facial area and the brain and resulting in a heating effect on the eyes which deteriorates eyesight.
Also, they also found that bit induced pain is a cause of problems such as napping, balking, stumbling, pulling, jigging bolting, rearing, bucking, head-shaking and accidents which appear to be unexplainable; to mention a few:
1. The head tossing and stumbling for example is thought to be a central response to severe shooting pains from the mandibular branch of the nerve.
2. The head rubbing, sneezing and snorting are signs compatible with “pins and needles” or frank pain, referred indirectly from the mandibular to the maxillary branch.
3. Rapid blinking and sensitivity to bright light is consistent with pain referred from the mandibular to the ophthalmic branch.
4. Happily Dr Cook reports that such is the case and that removal of the bit is the most rewarding treatment he has yet discovered for this recalcitrant problem.
There is profound cruelty being carried out every day in Britain by well-meaning horse owners who have been informed by the B.H.S. that the equipment used on their horse is fine, – when scientist’s vets have been telling the British Horse Society for 40 years that it is cruel.
Horse riding is the only sport I know which ignores scientific evidence. It would appear that there is no society – not the RSPCA or The World Welfare for Horses - or any other organisation that are willing to call the bluff of the BHS. I have watched for 70 years (I am 80+) as each generation has used harsher equipment & heavier pressure, until now it must be unbearable for horses."