Evaluating Horse Owner Expertise and Professional Use of Auxiliary Reins during Horse Riding
Equine Clinic, Veterinary Department, Freie Universitaet Berlin, 14163 Berlin, Germany
Veterinary Department, Institute for Veterinary Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Freie Universitaet Berlin, 14163 Berlin, Germany
Animal Behavior and Laboratory Animal Science, Veterinary Department, Institute of Animal Welfare, Freie Universitaet Berlin, 14163 Berlin, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Clive J. C. Phillips
Received: 8 April 2021
Revised: 6 July 2021
Accepted: 13 July 2021
Published: 20 July 2021
Auxiliary reins, which function as mechanical training aids that exert influence on the posture of the horse, are often criticized, especially if they are used incorrectly and against animal welfare. The aim of this paper was to investigate, with an online questionnaire, how much knowledge horse owners have regarding auxiliary reins and whether they use them appropriately. In our study, the running side rein was the most popular auxiliary rein when working from the ground and the sliding ring martingale was the most popular for equestrian activities. Half of the participants did not change the auxiliary rein during the entire training session and most participants adjusted their horse too tightly and did not change anything at that time despite the related breathing problems. The study showed that most participants used the reins responsibly, but there is still a need for clarification of their correct application regarding animal welfare and training physiology among horse owners.