Do you have a noise sensitive horse? - Is your horse reactive to loud noises or unexpected sounds?
You’re not alone! Many horses react to loud music or loud noises.
So why do horses react to loud noises?
According to the FEI, your horse can hear a similar range of sounds to you. That means that although horses might be able to hear a wider range of frequencies (super high pitched or super deep sounds), the sounds they react to are largely in the same range as us.
They also confirm that their vision is better than their hearing. A bit like us, we don’t normally experience sounds with our eyes shut. Our eyes and ears work together to help us understand what is going on.
To return to the original question, horses react to things that they are unsure about. If they react so a similar range of sounds to us, this means that if something went bang next to us, we might jump out of fright. If someone slams a door when we aren’t expecting it, we might have a little shriek?!
But what if we were wearing a big beanie?! We might not get such a fright!
If we were wearing ear plugs, we might not jump at all because the sound of the door slamming would not be so loud. Our nose sensitive horses are the same. Just like us, if something goes ‘bang’ and we aren’t expecting it, we react.
Another way to look at it is if we were working at a Royal Show in the showbag hall (who doesn’t love a showbag?!). There is chaos going on! Loud noises, kids screaming, frustrated parents and loud music!
On day 1 of work, you notice all these noises…...but by the end of the first week you become used to the ebb and flow of the background noise that you don’t really acknowledge it.
By the end of the show you don’t even realise it is there, you just carry on!
Horses are surprisingly similar!
So how can I help my noise sensitive horse?
Here’s 3 ways we suggest to help your horse that reacts to noise:
1. The easiest way to help your noise sensitive horse is to use a noise cancelling ear bonnet.
We love the Sound Off II Ear Bonnet from Plughz because the sound reducing material in the ears is covered by a stretch fabric that maintains movement of the ears AND resists dirt.
2. If you need something more discreet, using ear plugs is a great alternative.
Perfect for show horses, the Plugz Ear Plugs are so fantastic because they come in three sizes to fit ponies, horses and those with giant ears (WB size). The foam used in these horse ear plugs is incredibly dense which provide superior noise reduction AND shapes perfectly to the ear.
So many customers have contacted us to tell us how well these ear plugs work on their horses!
3. Share your favourite playlist with your horse!
Instead of putting your headphones in when you ride, put your phone on speaker or connect to a Bluetooth speaker and turn the volume up! Like we explained earlier, horses are frightened of the unexpected so if you constantly have music playing in the stable when you ride, they will become used to the sound and are less likely to react when the loudspeaker suddenly starts up at a show.
Have some fun while you’re at it and see what band your horse likes best! We’re kidding (but not really! - share your findings with us!)