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Fluoroscopic study of oral behaviours in response to the presence of a bit and the effects of rein tension

  • Jane M Manfredi (a1), Diana Rosenstein (a1), Joel L Lanovaz (a1), Sandra Nauwelaerts (a1) and Hilary M Clayton (a1)...

This study investigated intra-oral behaviours in horses wearing different bits with and without rein tension. Six riding horses wore a bridle and three bits: jointed snaffle, KK Ultra and Myler comfort snaffle. Lateral fluoroscopic images (30 Hz) were recorded for 20 s for each bit with loose reins and with 25 ± 5 N bilateral rein tension. The videos were analysed to determine time spent in the following behaviours: mouth quiet, gently mouthing the bit, retracting the tongue, bulging the dorsum of the tongue over the bit, lifting the bit and other behaviours that were performed infrequently. Repeated-measures ANOVA indicated that behaviours did not differ between bits, so bit type was not predictive of behaviour, but there were significant effects of horse and rein tension. Horses spent less time quiet and more time mouthing the bit, retracting the tongue and bulging the tongue over the bit when tension was applied.

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2 WR Cook (1999). Pathophysiology of bit control. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science 19: 196204.

3 A Tell , A Egenvall , L Torbjörn and O Wattle (2008). The prevalence of oral ulceration in Swedish horses when ridden with bit and bridle and when unridden. Veterinary Journal 178: 405410.

5 HM Clayton and RL Lee (1984). A fluoroscopic study of the position and action of the jointed snaffle bit in the horse's mouth. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science 4: 193196.

6 HM Clayton (1985). A fluoroscopic study of the position and action of different bits in the horse's mouth. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science 5: 6877.

9 HM Clayton , WH Singleton , JL Lanovaz and GL Cloud (2003). Measurement of rein tension during horseback riding using strain gage transducers. Experimental Techniques 27: 3436.

10 H Huynh and GK Mandeville (1979). Validity conditions in repeated measures designs. Psychological Bulletin 86: 964973.

19 S van Lancker , W van den Broek and P Simoens (2007). Incidence and morphology of bone irregularities of the equine interdental spaces (bars of the mouth). Equine Veterinary Education 19: 103106.

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Comparative Exercise Physiology
  • ISSN: 1755-2540
  • EISSN: 1755-2559
  • URL: /core/journals/comparative-exercise-physiology
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