When Jativia entered the ring to contest the first class of the Longines Global Champions Tour of Prague, she appeared to be wearing the horse version of a superhero mask.
But the mask has a purpose beyond concealing her secret identity—that’s just an added bonus. The 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Cardento 933—Tativia, Gottwald) was wearing a liquid titanium compression mask. Sellers of the mask claim it uses negative ions in order to provide energy and improve mood.
“She’s not the simplest to ride,” said her rider Dani Waldman. “She goes with very high head carriage, and she’s quite a tense horse, but she’s very, very fast and competitive in the ring. She goes a bit her own way and in her own shape.”
Fellow professional Kimberly Prince suggested Waldman try the mask with Jativia after having good luck with it herself. The mask arrived two days before the start of the Longines GCT of Prague, and Waldman used it once at home before trying it, and winning with it, in competition on Nov. 21.
“Things like that are very mental in the rider’s mind, so if they help or not, it’s hard to say, but the horse jumped well,” said Waldman. “I think it does no harm, but how much [it] helps, I don’t know. At this level of the sport, even if you gain one percent it’s worth it.
“I know thunder blankets for dogs help with lightning and stuff if they’re tense, so I think that compression is always a good tactic for tension,” she continued. “I can’t say one way or another if the mask does something or not, but I won the class using it for the first time, so maybe it’s something.”