Here's a question for the rules gurus... I'm hoping Malcom will chime in too!!!!
I've read and read, but don't have a solution. In show jumping and XC, is it legal to have fleece on a noseband?
I seem to think no, but then again I repeatedly see professionals showjumping with a hackmore that is covered with fleece on the nose, so how would that be more permissible than fleece on a noseband with a snaffle?
That is precisely where I'm going with that.... Put fleece on the noseband of a hackamore and no one mentions it... But fleece on the noseband with a snaffle is called a shadow roll, which is indeed considered a form of blinker.
And you are completely right that the rule doesn't allow a blinker... But???
A shadow roll is not a form of blinker.
Blinkers refer to hoods which cover the eyes and/or restrict the vision of the horse to the side, or to the back. It has to do with restricting the vision by covering the EYE.
Shadow rolls simply prevent the horse from seeing shadows underneath their noses. They don't restrict the eye like a blinker hood, in covering a portion of the vision. They limit the downward path of the eye, but don't stop the eye from ranging to see obstacles or other things around them. And a horse only has to put their heads down to see under the shadow roll, unlike a hood, where no matter where they put their head, they can't see backward. (Or cheekpieces).
There are varying types of shadow roles, that fit up under the eyes closer, than turn down, that are thicker over the center of the nose, or thicker on the outer edges, very thin such as the fuzzy over the halter noseband. All a horse really has to do is put their head down to see over a shadow roll so they are completely different from the "blinker" or hood -- and I actually do know all this since I have a general trainer's license for harness racing where such things are used as a high art....sorry to be so yacky....
They don't restrict the eye like a blinker hood, in covering a portion of the vision. They limit the downward path of the eye, but don't stop the eye from ranging to see obstacles or other things around them. And a horse only has to put their heads down to see under the shadow roll, unlike a hood, where no matter where they put their head, they can't see backward. (Or cheekpieces).
But one could argue that with blinkers on, all a horse has to do is turn its head sideways to circumvent the blinkers and see what is behind it. I'm not sure that's different than a horse putting its head down to circumvent the shadow roll. I'm also not sure the shadow roll's only use is to prevent a horse from seeing SHADOWS--they simply limit the visual field.
Which makes them, arguably, no different from blinkers in that regard--it's simply a matter of which portion of the visual field one is limiting.
Which is neither here nor there in terms of the rule book as one is OK and the other is not.
So, shadow rolls keep horses from seeing things below their nose...unless they lower their head.... blinkers keep them from seeing things beside or behind them..... good thing they can't turn their heads, otherwise I could definitely see the similarity....
All kidding aside, how useful would it be to have blinkers on a jumping horse?? If the dang thing is THAT spooky..... yikes!
But one could argue that with blinkers on, all a horse has to do is turn its head sideways to circumvent the blinkers and see what is behind it.
No, not quite with the cup type racing hood or blinkers -- Delta, they can turn their heads all they want and they can't see outside of a real narrow range in front of them. Cups cover quite a bit of the vision especially the higher they put their heads (or have their heads pulled up). For safety we actually cut a triangle out of the cup so that the horse can see slightly through the opening to the rear -- this helped prevent accidents where the horse didn't see someone coming up behind them in the race paddock aisle, or stall. Cups come in different shapes too that have different limits.
Cheekpieces limit backward vision somewhat, but not nearly as much as a hood with cups. I think they can turn their heads to see with even big fat cheekpieces but really they utilized when the horse is going forward, so they do their job while the horse is in motion, and are not a factor when they are not performing, and thus, I think, a bit safer.
The itty bitty cheekpieces that the jumper people use do very little (they aren't much more than the cheap velcro halter rolls and they don't limit sh*t, sorry, some people may have anecdotal evidence of complete performance turnarounds with them but I'm skeptical).
Originally Posted by deltawave
I'm also not sure the shadow roll's only use is to prevent a horse from seeing SHADOWS--they simply limit the visual field.
It isn't, but in the interest of brevity, I didn't expand on the shadow roll's uses, or it's background. The shadows they are referring to are the shadow a running or pacing horses make with their own legs from going fast. The fastest horses at a race meet in the old days raced in the afternoon, in front of the largest crowds of the day. Typically the sun would cast shadows across the track so the racing horses out front would be distracted by the shadows of their own legs in front of their noses as they raced. Unless you have sat behind a racing harness horse, or been on a green thoroughbred at the track working, and had them jumping out from underneath you at these particular shadows of their own feet, you don't know what I mean. It's not general shadows, its racing shadows which are way freakier to a stupid greenie, the black legs seemingly coming at their noses. A horse who needs a shadow roll will "climb" with their feet, try to jump the shadows, or toss their head so much they often run across the track sideways, wiping out other horses and riders, and causing wrecks. Steeplechasers use them for the horses who drag their toes a little too casually over the brush fences and hit the hard part of the fences and could tip over. On a horse running at jumps at speed, with a shadow roll, they can't see quite where their toes are as they jump up over the fence, or where the shadows are coming from, and lift their feet just a little higher just in case.
The shadow roll's use depends very heavily on adjustment and type. It can make a spooky horse really backed off, it can make a sloppy horse VERY careful, and I think most horses somewhere in between.
I think it is important to note that these aids are used during performance, while a horse is in motion. 200 years ago when EVERYONE had a carriage horse, there was no need to explain what either one of these things did -- everyone knew -- because they could see how the carriage horses were straight and even and steady with them, and jumping in the ditch and overturning the carriage without them!
Last edited by retreadeventer; Jul. 22, 2010 at 01:35 PM.
they can turn their heads all they want and they can't see outside of a real narrow range in front of them
Yes, but they can turn their head and see what was previously outside the restricted visual field. It might take some doing depending on the depth of the cups, but if something is "off to the right" and outside the field of vision, simply turning the head to the right brings it into view.
In reality I don't see any difference in restricting a horse's LATERAL visual field as compared to its INFERIOR (below the nose) visual field with some sort of barrier. Only the rules seem to draw the distinction. I've got no dog in the fight, have just always thought it sort of odd.
I was pretty well aware of the function and intention of a shadow roll, actually. Just clarifying that "shadows" are not the only thing we might want a horse to take less interest in.
Delta, I think (although I am not sure) that the reasoning behind these restrictive apparatus is simply that horses cannot see the rider, what's coming up behind them, or perhaps a whip or crop, with a hood on. That sort of makes it unfair to them and well as seriously dangerous in a warmup area, etc. to anyone coming up behind a horse with such things on.
I don't think a shadow roll endangers anyone else in a warmup area. At least I have never seen it do so.
From the horse, not being able to see under the nose is far less dangerous than not seeing behind itself, I should think.