Scientists have designed a new set of high-tech headphones – that allow horses to listen to music as they trot.
But the development does have a serious purpose, as the headphones both improve the animal’s focus and block out external noises that could spook more nervous mounts.
Hidden within a bonnet that slips over the horse’s head, the headphones come with Bluetooth technology to pick up songs played on the rider’s mobile phone.
A headset that clips to the helmet also allows the rider to talk to their mount through the headphones.
British showjumper Yazmin Pinchen, 23, has tested the technology with her 14-year-old horse, Vinny.
She said: ‘When I originally put the music on, Vinny was a little bit shocked but after a few minutes he was more settled.
Professor Mark Bowen, of the British Equine Veterinary Association, said: ‘Music is most likely to benefit horses with a nervous disposition since it will remove external stimulation; they may be able to focus on something familiar and be less nervous.
‘Although some evidence supports the impact of music, demonstrating an actual benefit to the horse and its wellbeing is incredibly difficult.’