It is a very 21st-Century development for the most traditional of activities.
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.
Vets and horse behaviour experts have even come up with dedicated playlists of different tempos to suit various gaits: walking, trotting or galloping.
British showjumper Yazmin Pinchen, 23, has tested the technology with her 14-year-old horse, Vinny.
She warms up with Irish rock band Kodaline’s High Hopes before galloping along to Up & Up by Coldplay, then relaxing with the same group’s Fix You
‘When I originally put the music on, Vinny was a little bit shocked but after a few minutes he was more settled.
'When you’re just walking and warming up you want something that’s quite relaxing and soothing.
You don’t want to wind your horse up immediately and get him running away.’
Makers HorseCom say the technology, which costs £799, helps improve horses’ performance.
It was devised by 27-year-old Hugo Kajdas, who came up with the idea to help his sister’s horse, which was very nervous.
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.’