Bit and bridle accessories improperly fitted in ridden horses can cause oral trauma such as bone spurs, commissure ulceration, and tongue lacerations. This study was used to identify, grade, and compare the types of oral traumas commonly found within polo ponies and race horses. Injuries were assessed visually and by palpation on the tongue, lips’ commissures, and interdental space. A total of 50 polo ponies and 50 race horses were sampled in the South of England. A Poisson model was successfully fitted to the data (p < .001), and the variables of discipline (p < .001), injury type (p < .001), and age (p < .001) were significant. Race horses with snaffle bits were predisposed to significantly higher severities and prevalence of oral trauma than were polo ponies in gag bits. Only polo ponies were observed with tongue trauma. Race horses had higher severities of injuries in the commissures and bone spurs. Positive correlations were found between age and/or time in sport and induced biting injuries. Polo ponies had been playing longer before the occurrence of injuries.
|Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
|School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.firstname.lastname@example.org
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