The most interesting thing is under the hat
Recently, you will not surprise anyone in our country with a hat on a horse’s head. It is beautiful, aesthetically pleasing, and therefore even amateurs put them on to their pets. However, in professional sports, the appearance of horse hats has a purely practical meaning. The most interesting thing is happening under the hat, which only covers up all this disgrace.
When performing in conditions of increased noise, horses insert specialized earplugs into their ears. And to prevent their loss, put on a hat. Of course, the horse looks more attractive without gaping earplugs, but this role of the horse’s headgear is secondary.
The purpose of using tampons is to reduce the noise perceived by the horse. This is especially important when performing in closed rooms with aggressive acoustics or simply with a large crowd of people. Sound for the horse is annoying. So at the 2008 Olympics, the rider herself explained the reason for Biz Biz Madden being thrown in the American team by the unexpected loss of a tampon from her horse’s ear. As a result, the horse shied away from the unilateral noise pressure.
Moreover, the horse perceives sounds in a wider range of frequencies than a person. The unexpected fright of an animal can be caused by the appearance of a sound inaccessible to our ear, but clearly audible by a horse. It sounds like a conspiracy theory, but attackers can use similar manipulations.
The same annoying factor is used for the benefit of racetrack trials. Rysakov is also “jammed” with tampons, but they are connected by a cord that is pulled to the rider. When reaching the finish line, the rider pulls tampons from the horse’s ears by the cord. Spectators start screaming, cheering the horses. The animal is excited, adrenaline rises sharply in the blood, and the horse makes a rapid advance forward.
But not everything is so simple with the use of earplugs in show jumping. Hearing impaired horses has side effects.
Hearing is a feeling that helps animals to further orient themselves in space through echolocation. It is used not only by marine, but also by terrestrial mammals, and even by humans in ordinary life. For blind people, they conduct special courses on how to use the artificially created sounds to determine the distance to walls and objects on the surface. It is no accident that the horse, when overcoming the barrier, brings the ears to an upright position to better capture sounds coming from the obstacle, including those reflected. In general, the horse uses this sense organ much more actively than humans, as a result of which nature ensured a 180-degree turn of the ear. Therefore, hearing loss for this animal affects life more significantly.
In particular, a competitive horse with a hearing loss feels worse than the distance to objects and the surface of the earth, which reduces coordination and increases the risk of injury, especially on landing. For those who doubt the importance of echolocation, we suggest scuba diving. You will be surprised how much you will be mistaken in estimating the distances to sound sources under water. The thing is that sound propagates at a different speed in water, however, your brain will at first convert sounds from a spatial picture according to environmental laws of a different density, and you will get an absolutely erroneous idea of distance.
Therefore, turning off the “ears” of the horse is necessary gradually, sequentially using tampons with varying degrees of sound insulation. By exhibiting a horse unprepared for deaf work, you can get the opposite psychological effect. The space for her will become less aggressive, but she will cease to feel it, and beware of caution, probing the surface of the soil and getting confused in distances. These are prerequisites for refusing jumps, especially when working close to the border of possibilities.
However, the subtleties of working with a horse’s hearing do not end there. Another muffling effect is increasing the horse’s attention on the rider’s control. With the loss of one feeling, a living organism concentrates on the rest. Including the touch of controls – snaffle, spurs, rider coordination. Those. loss of coordination in space can be compensated by a better susceptibility to controls and attention to the rider’s commands. Horse-insensitive horses can significantly add to the accuracy of the work. However, it is obvious that a horse, prone to closure in rough control, with “deaf” work can cause the rider even more problems. Therefore, the use of earplugs and their sound permeability should be selected individually for each animal.
A few words about the tampons themselves and how to fix them.
Usually the shape of the swabs is spherical, or cylindrical. All kinds of materials, but branded are often made of rubber or polymeric porous materials. You can make tampons on your own from cotton foam rubber or cotton wool.