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Show-jumping chic

pansy
Question for my horse-loving friends: are the horses in the Olympic show-jumping ring actually wearing little hats that cover their ears? And if so, does it serve any purpose or is it purely decorative?


Also available at http://ellarien.dreamwidth.org/632300.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.

Comments

( 6 comments — Comments, please? )
dancinghorse
Jul. 31st, 2012 01:23 pm (UTC)
Fly protection. Flies and gnats will eat horses' ears until they bleed. In the process they will get inside and cause horses to shake their heads incessantly. You do not want this while galloping cross-country or jumping high fences. A horse shaking its head is not only distracted, it's off balance. Can fall-go-boom.
ellarien
Jul. 31st, 2012 01:27 pm (UTC)
Ah, that makes sense. Thank you!
heleninwales
Jul. 31st, 2012 01:29 pm (UTC)
I've also heard that riders sometimes put cotton wool in their horse's ears to muffle the sound of the crowd, announcers etc. Though the ear protectors are actually designed to keep off flies and midges, they also hold the cotton wool in place.
ellarien
Jul. 31st, 2012 01:32 pm (UTC)
Earplugs! That thought had crossed my mind, too.
green_knight
Jul. 31st, 2012 10:34 pm (UTC)
Others have beaten me to the purpose, but have an icon with a horse not wearing a fly mask.
ellarien
Jul. 31st, 2012 10:35 pm (UTC)
;-)
( 6 comments — Comments, please? )

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