Racing is big business in the United States and is certainly not an activity that should be neglected or left to an afterthought, even if it is one of racing’s traditional pastimes. But the practice of human-controlled horses and the need for a reliable method of harnessing and control has led to countless injuries and deaths both to the horses and other horses. Many of these deaths have involved the use of choke chokes, so the public has become familiar with them.
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air (AHSRA) states they hold the following as its safety rules for harnessing and restraint:-
The use of choke-held horses, other than those with normal or near-normal breathing rates, is hazardous to the horses and their human trainers.
It is not safe to use choke-held horses in certain circumstances. Examples of these situations include:
To help horses overcome a fear of an unfamiliar stimulus
To help horses overcome a fear of loud noise
To assist in the horse’s control of his own temperature
To assist in the horse’s control of his own weight
To assist in the horse’s control of his own body temperature
The harness should provide for full, free-standing restraint of horses. Some harnesses require the horses to be tied to the harness so that they cannot move themselves. Others have no restraint, only a barrier. Some are tied or girth-routed only. In some, the bridle and seat are suspended across the back of the horses. These harnesses are not suitable if the bridle or seat are attached to it, as in this case, the horse or human can be pulled from the harness, and any additional load placed on the horse’s body.
Horses are harnessed for a reason: They have to be held in their harness.
The type of control to be installed on the harness is a matter of judgement among the horses’ trainers and owners. The following are the most commonly used types of control on harness:
Choke Chains. Some trainers will employ choke chokes. The most important features of a choke choke is that they may only be fitted when needed. If not fitted to the horse, the horse may escape. Choke chokes are used to prevent a horse from escaping a stable and escaping the stable. A normal, free-standing horse should be able to be managed without being restrained.
Some horses may be able to
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