While taking one of my equine classes at college I heard a rumor that some Arabian horses have their muzzles wrapped with a band when they are young to shape/deform them into an extreme dished shape as they grow. I tried researching this, but it seems like most, if not all, dished noses are caused by genetics (though wry nose and an instance of a foal developing with a leg over its nose did show up in search results).
I'm purely asking if people artificially alter bone conformation in horses, not to what degree an Arabian horse's nose should be dished through genetic selection (that's a whole other discussion).
I've also heard of using bustles on horse tails to encourage them to hold them higher.
Are there any other examples of this in the horse world?
Thanks in advance!
I raised and showed Arabians for many, many years and I think I saw just about every dirty trick anybody ever did with those horses, so I think I'm fairly knowlegeable about things they did.
Wrapping muzzles = No. Never heard of it or saw any such thing. I saw plenty of very freaky muzzles on foals but those were genetically bred for, not cosmetically or surgically alterered. Though.... Many Arabs are prized for their small throatlatches and rumor has it a very famous stallion had that cosmetically altered. Word from the vet said the horse choked and had a stricture and has surgery to relieve the stricture which had the benefit/side effect of reducing the throatlatch, so the horse was never disqualifed from the ring because the 'alteration' was not done for cosmetic purposes. That's another thing, breed standards and show rules state that nothing can be done strictly for cosmetic purposes, and I do know several horses got DQ'd for having their eyeballs tattoo'd because of 'human eye' which is a huge fault in the breed.
Tail sets aren't used in Arabs but ginger and capsaicin are fairly common. Both are forbidden. Last time I showed on the Arab circuit they didn't have a substance test for them, though I've since heard that they do now. Tail sets are pretty common (or were) in Saddlebreds.
Tail Deadening in Western Pleasure horses and Reiners is/was pretty common. They injected alcohol below the tail and they couldn't swish the tail.
Many Western Pleasure trainers injected ACTH to calm the horses, naturally occuring substance, didn't test. They also gave Regumate to all horses to control hormones and calm them before going into the ring. Progesterone didn't test. That could have some long lasting side effects.
Fake tails weren't allowed in Arabs buuuuuut.....I wouldn't have put it past someone to attach them a few hairs at a time with wax like they do in humans. That wouldn't make it quite so obvious that they were supplementing nature.