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Punkie
Apr. 20, 2009, 10:12 PM
A couple of questions about these, if I might. I have a horse that can be a bit of a dingus on the landing side of a fence and will get heavy and squirrly when the mood strikes him. This only happens at home (which makes little to no sense, but I'm glad for it!), so it's less of an issue, but still not something we'd like to have happen. We have him in a great bit that he loves and it does it's job 99% of the time, but I am short and have a lot of physical limitations (I have a degenerative spine disorder and systemic rheumatoid arthritis, so I have my off days), so sometimes he can get the better of me. One of my trainers recommended trying a chain lined nose band, but I wanted to get a few opinions on these before giving it a go. Here's what I'd like to know:

1) Can they cause any serious physical/long-term damage when *properly* used (not too tight, not hauling on the horse's face every 2 seconds, etc.)?
2) Are they constantly causing pain/significant discomfort or only when a specific amount of pressure is applied?
3) What is the difference between the wider chain and the narrower chain? I am assuming that the wider chain is less severe as it covers more surface area, but I don't want to jump to the wrong conclusion.
4) Are they legal to show in for the hunters/equitation? I have no expectation to use it, but if it ever came up, I'd want to be 100% sure to follow the rules
5) Any personal experiences with them? Good or bad?
6) Where can a raised, fancy stitch one be purchased (to match an Antares bridle or similar)?

Thanks so much!

superpony123
Apr. 20, 2009, 10:46 PM
i personally have not used a chain noseband but i can give some sort of answer for a few questions, just from knowledge and logic.

a narrower chain should be more severe. a larger chain less severe. however, i am not sure if it's kind of like how bits are--generally, the thicker the bit, the duller it is, and the narrower, the more severe, but when you put a thick bit in a small mouth, it can be much harsher than a narrow bit would be, just because it doesnt fit properly. i am not entirely sure if the same rule would apply to nosebands, even though i'm not really sure why it would because it's not necessarily enclosed in a mouth or anything. but just a thought. i'm quite sure you can disregard anything else, and be sure that a narrow chain will be harsher, but i'm sure someone else can confirm.

i have seen them used at rated shows, but that doesnt necessarily mean they are legal. i'm honestly not sure. it would be hard for the judge to see, but i'm sure someone on here can tell you if it is legal or not. once again, ive never used one, so i wouldn't know much on it's rules.if it is legal, i don't think it'd be considered 'unconventional tack' but you never know. i mean, it'd be hard for the judge to see the chain in general.

DO be very careful with your horse's skin, though. Does it have a tendancy to get dry, rub very easily, is he thin-skinned? I would be VERY cautious if you really have to use one as far as skin goes. I don't recommend using one right after he's had a clipping (in the face, at least). Don't use one if he gets rubs very easily (if you're unsure: does he ever get rubs in the shoulders of his blankets? from the girth? from boots or the straps of boots? spur rubs? any chafing that causes him to lose significant hair should be a red flag and a warning to avoid the chain) Do not use if he has very dry skin (chains would make him more prone to cracking and bleeding under the chain)


i honestly don't know much about the under-saddle use of chains because i've never used one, so as far as the U/S affect of actually having one on their nose, i could not tell you much. i have seen them used properly. this was on a ridiculously huge horse in the barn, and i cant imagine anyone riding him without one. he's just so darn big. he never had any type of rubbing (then again, this was a big meaty draft x who was always hairy) but i dont think he was even ridden all that often.

most importantly, though, like you said--he doesnt have this issue at shows. don't get reliant on the chain if you decide to use it. it is an aid, and like spurs or a crop, you should only use it when you know you will need it. if you only need it for jumping, then only put the noseband on when you are jumping (okay, this could be a pain in the butt, but it's worth it if you want to be the most effective)

Punkie
Apr. 20, 2009, 11:33 PM
Thanks, Superpony!

Lucky for me, this is my super thick-skinned, nothing bothers him guy. If this were my other chestnut, I would have NEVER considered this an option as he gets rubs from his super padded, perfectly fitted, heavily conditioned/broken in bridle.

It would definitely be only for O/F and unless he decides otherwise, it would only be used at home. I have a couple of bridles for each of my horses and he already has a jumping bridle set up, so I'd just switch out the noseband.

Moocow
Apr. 21, 2009, 01:42 AM
I've seen some made by Dy'on - you could check that out.

fourmares
Apr. 21, 2009, 01:52 AM
Are you using a standing martingale? I can't see how a chain nose band would do anything if you aren't using a standing?

I don't know if they are legal in hunters or not. They were not back in the mid eighties... but people still used them.

Coreene
Apr. 21, 2009, 02:11 AM
Well. Just waiting for chain bits, two dressage whips, a shadow roll and "he was crooked in the womb" - that should complete it. Oh WAIT, custom saddle, metal poles and impossible-to-find coat. Soring, injected tails, chips in boots. Does that cover 'em all?

jetsmom
Apr. 21, 2009, 02:13 AM
While not "illegal" a judge can consider them unconventional, and not pin you if they find out you are using one.

They are pretty much usless without a standing martingale. They (noseband) should not be tight. Make sure your martingale is adjusted properly as well.

Hauling on the horse's face isn't good, but the noseband will only come into play if the horse raises his head and "hit" the end of the martingale.

Generally no physical damage, although some horses will start to go around with more flexion to avoid hitting the end of the martingale, when they know they have a chain noseband on. You can sometimes get that effect, when the martingale is removed for a flat class, but it doesn't take them long to figure out that there is no martingale, hence no noseband pressure if their head is raised.

Punkie
Apr. 21, 2009, 02:24 AM
He is in a standing martingale, should've mentioned that in the original post :)

Coreene, I'm very confused by your post...I'm sure I've made some sort of COTH faux pas (train wreck topic? FAQ? I know not...I am not a terribly frequent poster) and for that I am sorry. This was something that was suggested to me and COTH seemed like the best place for me to get information. I am not trying to stir the pot or cause any issues what-so-ever. I'm sorry if I made a major blunder.

Go Fish
Apr. 21, 2009, 03:00 AM
I think most people would be surprised to find many of these nosebands on a lot of bridles in the show tack rooms....

supershorty628
Apr. 21, 2009, 06:20 AM
He is in a standing martingale, should've mentioned that in the original post :)

Coreene, I'm very confused by your post...I'm sure I've made some sort of COTH faux pas (train wreck topic? FAQ? I know not...I am not a terribly frequent poster) and for that I am sorry. This was something that was suggested to me and COTH seemed like the best place for me to get information. I am not trying to stir the pot or cause any issues what-so-ever. I'm sorry if I made a major blunder.

You haven't made a faux pas. It's an issue that some people feel very strongly about. Don't feel sorry :).

Midge
Apr. 21, 2009, 06:59 AM
If part of his playing around also involves opening his mouth, the chain noseband will be a help.

While I cannot explain the phenomenon, I have a friend who shows in a chain noseband and no martingale. It makes a difference and is not particularly tight.

lauriep
Apr. 21, 2009, 07:04 AM
Whenever pressure is applied between top of nose and chain, either by opening the mouth or by hitting the end of the martingale, the chain would have an effect. The key is to not crank it tight so the animal becomes numb to it. There must be a little play in the noseband so it is only felt when the horse does something unwanted.

Chains are pretty benign, really. It is when you get to prongs and tacks in nosebands that you get to questionable methods.

Summit Springs Farm
Apr. 21, 2009, 08:50 AM
Actually I think thats an excellent choice for your issue, chain or a stud nose band fitted tight with a martingale, should do the trick. It will only come into play, when he's playing no pun intended:)

Also you might flat him occasionally in a bosal, which helps him learn to yield to you by using pressure on the nose, just helps him get the idea of pressure mean yield.

mrsbradbury
Apr. 21, 2009, 08:55 AM
1) Can they cause any serious physical/long-term damage when *properly* used (not too tight, not hauling on the horse's face every 2 seconds, etc.)?
2) Are they constantly causing pain/significant discomfort or only when a specific amount of pressure is applied?
3) What is the difference between the wider chain and the narrower chain? I am assuming that the wider chain is less severe as it covers more surface area, but I don't want to jump to the wrong conclusion.
4) Are they legal to show in for the hunters/equitation? I have no expectation to use it, but if it ever came up, I'd want to be 100% sure to follow the rules
5) Any personal experiences with them? Good or bad?
6) Where can a raised, fancy stitch one be purchased (to match an Antares bridle or similar)?

Thanks so much!

To answer your questions:

1) If used properly and effectively, you should not have any long-term injury. I have a horse that wore one when I showed him in A/A and Later A/O. One particular show he was really luggy, and his nose did swell from the abrasion, I felt SO bad.:(

2)To this I am not sure, as other posters have mentioned, it should only work when the martinglae hits it. So you have to be very aware of adjusting it, and need to leave it a bit looser than a conventional cavesson.

3)Narrower the chain = more severe.

4) While I don't think it is explicity stated, I would not consider them "legal", they are unconventional. Consider them like those hunter hide the slot gag bits.

5) I have had the two I own in the strap goods bin for years. After I moved out of the ammy ranks, I don't think I've ever had it on horse. I have usually found another reason for the behavior, and a better way to fix it.

You mentioned your horse is only naughty on accasion at home. Could it be the lack of lunge if he's lunged at shows? Did he miss TO that day? I also think that sometimes our horses land "happy", and express themselves, if it's not pain related, and it's not dangerous, do you ride well enough to live with it at home?

6)Both of my abrasive nosebands were ordered from BEVAL, I believe that most higher end bridle companies that make pieces can build you one. You just have to ask.

findeight
Apr. 21, 2009, 09:57 AM
OP, what are you doing bit wise? If he is just pulling you out of the tack on landing, not sure the stiffer noseband is going to help you with that particular problem.

Personally, I have never had one that goes in the same bit all the time. All have benefitted from switching them around and using something different when trouble occurs or they pick up a new evasion technique.

JMO but, if he is doing as you describe, switching to something with more of a gag or lifting action is going to do a better job then a more abrasive noseband...especially pulling down on landing.

I don't use one, don't think any others in the barn do but some others do, even at the shows. Properly used I have no issue with a little more control...I also don't think they do much other then reinforce the martingale. Maybe back a dull one up a little, keep them a little more attentive.

Think using any of this stuff needs to be well thought out. If you really understand why you need it and what it actually does, fine, go ahead. But...just think you may disappointed with this one that sometimes pulls and gets silly after landing but only at home. Just don't see it's going to do much.
Sounds more like he is fresh and taking a little advantage of the riders lack of strength. And needs a bit switch or a little more prep or a lunge before jumping.

Think the problem most have with any kid of gimmick is they get used for the wrong reason and/or overused or get used without any thought to what they do-and they end up not doing what you think they will or just creating a new evasion problem to replace the one you thought they would cure..

Coreene
Apr. 21, 2009, 10:31 AM
Punkie, I apologize, it was meant tongue-in-cheek, no offense meant at all. :)

Tiffani B
Apr. 21, 2009, 10:42 AM
I come from Saddlebred-land where we do not use standing martingales on anything, but we do use the chain-lined noseband on occasion. Our use for it is when we have a horse who braces his jaw and will not flex to the bit. When the horse clenches his teeth, so to speak, his jaw circumference enlarges. It pushes out into the chain, causing discomfort, so he immediately relaxes.

I use it as a tool to teach the horse not to clench his jaw... usually one or two rides solves the problem, with an occasional reminder ride now and then if it resurfaces.

Depending on the horse, the wider chain can actually be felt more. Think about using a chain over the nose when leading with a halter - your lead-shank chain is pretty darn big. If you had a finer chain, it wouldn't be as effective (I get this from showing horses in-hand - my in-hand lead has a very fine chain and it is definitely ignored more often than the normal chain). But of course, every horse is different. See if you can borrow one to try before you spend the money.

Equus_girl
Apr. 21, 2009, 11:15 AM
[QUOTE=Tiffani B;4038039]I It pushes out into the chain, causing discomfort, so he immediately relaxes.
QUOTE]

How exactly would discomfort and pain lead to relaxation? :eek:

findeight
Apr. 21, 2009, 11:29 AM
[quote=Tiffani B;4038039]I It pushes out into the chain, causing discomfort, so he immediately relaxes.
QUOTE]

How exactly would discomfort and pain lead to relaxation? :eek:

All the tack that we use to control them works on pressure which can be uncomfortable and release of pressure when the desired effect is obtained-i.e horse turns, stops or quite pulling...whatever. And this poster said discomfort, not pain.

Over time, many horses don't listen so good so we need to increase the pressure as a reminder. Horses that jump or perform at speed (or light up like an ASB) also get more excited and forgetful no matter how much time you put in on basics. Sometimes they need a reminder to listen.

bort84
Apr. 21, 2009, 11:31 AM
I It pushes out into the chain, causing discomfort, so he immediately relaxes.



How exactly would discomfort and pain lead to relaxation? :eek:

I think she just meant that they figure out tensing the jaw leads to pressure on the nose, so they "relax" the jaw (think "unclench" maybe, instead of "relax"). This doesn't exactly mean relaxation through the whole body, just that the horse figures out that trying to open the mouth and brace is not the easiest way to go in a chain noseband. Most horses will try to find the easiest route and take it.

webmistress32
Apr. 21, 2009, 11:33 AM
I love the idea of the chain noseband. you can pair it up with a bicycle chain bit and a western tie-down.

lovely!

findeight
Apr. 21, 2009, 11:35 AM
Whoooo, whoooo...I hear that train a coming.

BTW, the OP was referring to a flat chain lined leather noseband, not a chain noseband.

mvp
Apr. 21, 2009, 11:42 AM
Here on Earth, with the horse the OP described:

Nothing wrong with letting the horse hit himself on a chain-lined nose band attached to a standing martingale once or twice if you have exhausted all other options.

Can you borrow one, invite him to make the mistake and see what happens?

All things being equal, it would be better to teach the horse to land softly and keep listening. That probably comes from good flat work, balance before the fences, plain old age and experience.

If he only does this at shows, I think you might work on either doing the training there, or just waiting for him to get a little calmer or more bored with his job.

Sorry for the unsolicited training advice. Don't mean to offend, but I am a fan of trying something once.

Equus_girl
Apr. 21, 2009, 11:56 AM
[quote=Equus_girl;4038143]

All the tack that we use to control them works on pressure which can be uncomfortable and release of pressure when the desired effect is obtained-i.e horse turns, stops or quite pulling...whatever. And this poster said discomfort, not pain.

Over time, many horses don't listen so good so we need to increase the pressure as a reminder. Horses that jump or perform at speed (or light up like an ASB) also get more excited and forgetful no matter how much time you put in on basics. Sometimes they need a reminder to listen.

I agree with you, findeight, on most things, except for I think there is a big difference between training with pressure vs training with pain. Properly fitted noseband puts pressure should the horse open the mouth too wide, chain on the noseband makes it painful to open the mouth.

Pain does have a place in training such as leading with chain to prevent accidents but I do not really see a place for pain inflicting devices in every-day training scenario, such as jumping.

They used to have spikes inside of nosebands of war horses, and I certainly do not think we should go back to those times, but the concept is pretty much the same, which is to get more control via severe tack vs training, or is it not?

PS On the totally off subject, I have been in a mostly Saddlebred barn for amost a year and have to yet see any relaxation in any part of their bodies at any moment during work :O

SCMJ
Apr. 21, 2009, 12:24 PM
I agree that you'd be suprised with what is on some of the top hunters tack...we leased a pony from a very BNT and she came with her tack and she had a chain noseband and crownpiece and just about every other rig around sent with her and that was just how they got their ponies to the ring. She was, however, perfectly cared for, happy, and a stunning mover who was unbeatable in almost any company....I can't imagine that she would cart a floppy 7 yr old around the mediums at Devon if she wasn't happy with her job. It's not the end of the world if the chain noseband is just the finishing touch to a sound program---especially if it makes it just that much easier for the kids to get around

RugBug
Apr. 21, 2009, 12:33 PM
JMO but, if he is doing as you describe, switching to something with more of a gag or lifting action is going to do a better job then a more abrasive noseband...especially pulling down on landing.

As we all know, there are always exceptions in the horse world. I ride one. I thought I could get some relief from a 'back side of the fence puller' with a bit change. After trying just about everything (gags, elevators, Waterford, Mullen, french link, KK Ultra, corkscrew, Double twisted wire) with less success than his preferred slow twist, I gave up. I did get some results with a lever noseband. If I can find a Kineton that fits, I'd like to give that a try. On this particular horse, I wouldn't be opposed to a chain noseband. I definitely get better results in his figure 8 than in a plain cavesson...more so than I do with a bit change, so logic tells me that that would be the next area to explore.



Sounds more like he is fresh and taking a little advantage of the riders lack of strength. And needs a bit switch or a little more prep or a lunge before jumping.

Maybe, maybe not. My guy would go around with a loop in the reins if the jumps were kept low and you let him add. In fact, he does this on a regular basis with the lesson kids that ride him. It has nothing to do with prep or freshness...or lack of rider strength. Basically, if you put someone on him that is going to jump him bigger and get the distances, he changes gear and pulls after the jumps. At this point, I've accepted it and work within his confines. He's never going to change...so it's up to me to find the compromise to make it rideable. Right now that doesn't include a chain noseband, but if I found it made the compromise easier...I wouldn't hesitate.

findeight
Apr. 21, 2009, 12:36 PM
Even when their use is deemed appropriate, none of these things is going to work if it is used all the time, they just learn to evade or ignore like they did the regular stuff. Not a darn thing wrong with occaisionally using something, I've tried most of the stuff once, at least. Most work until they figure it out and how to get around it. Best solution is more flatwork but sometimes that just does not get it done.

Going back to OPs post and question, she does have some physical limitations that are not helping and this is not a green horse or one lacking in basics. It just sounds too fresh and will take advantage at home, she needs a little help and somebody suggested this. It does not do this at shows so my thinking is a little more prep and, maybe, a bit change would be a better choice.

But I have no objection to her trying it in a proper situation, jut don't think it will do much.

Punkie
Apr. 21, 2009, 12:42 PM
Here on Earth, with the horse the OP described:

Nothing wrong with letting the horse hit himself on a chain-lined nose band attached to a standing martingale once or twice if you have exhausted all other options.

Can you borrow one, invite him to make the mistake and see what happens?

All things being equal, it would be better to teach the horse to land softly and keep listening. That probably comes from good flat work, balance before the fences, plain old age and experience.

If he only does this at shows, I think you might work on either doing the training there, or just waiting for him to get a little calmer or more bored with his job.

Sorry for the unsolicited training advice. Don't mean to offend, but I am a fan of trying something once.

He is a highly reactionary horse and has come a very, very long way from the horse he was when I bought him. He is EXCELLENT for my trainer (and for most other people) who can properly sit down and pick him up through their seat better than I can, but my physical limitations can often prevent me from doing so effectively.

He goes in a few different bits; a loose ring snaffle for supple work on the flat, a low ported Mylar with hooks for day-to-day flat work, and a jointed Dee ring Mikmar for O/F. He actually LOVES the Mikmar (he thinks the bean in the middle is pretty neat) and is very easy in it, but he sometimes becomes overly eager and I get pinchy with my thighs to compensate for my hips/back. He went in a Happy Mouth gag for awhile, but he started getting BTV and wiggly with it, so we moved on.

I know I am citing my physical issues as the main reason for this problem, and I know that a few of you are probably thinking that I need to find another horse more suited to me, but I assure you, I have several of them. I am very, very attached to this guy and he is MILES from where he was when I bought him. I owe him a lot and part of that is seeing him through to the best of my ability and his potential. I was told by many people that he would not amount to anything and I would never be able to ride him, but I've proven everyone wrong so far and I'm not about to give up on him yet. I just need something to get us through this little rut while I get my arthritis medications sorted out and he learns to respond more appropriately to stimuli. I don't like using unconventional or shady methods of training any more than the next person, but as long as it's not going to cause pain/damage/have any significant side effects, I'm willing to give it a go to make things easier on both of us.

Thank you everyone for all your help and suggestions...please don't turn this into a train wreck, it's just an honest question/search for a solution for a somewhat unusual situation.

(And so you can see that we do get on just fine, here is my kiddo and I at our last show...I purchased the picture! http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=31359503&l=3087609c1e&id=8002195 ...I know, I know, I'm totally ducking...I'm working on it!!)

mvp
Apr. 21, 2009, 12:50 PM
Punk-a-licious-- good for you! I'm glad you are a) persisting with a horse you like and have brought along; b) riding and improving him whether you have physical limitations or not.

Keep going, and I have one more idea:

It sounds like you can't give him a the "training ride" he needs-- a reminder that the rules don't change when a fence comes up. Can you get your trainer to do that? Can she give him the ride you would, and then a correction when he takes advantage? If he is very smart, he might have figured out that things change when you versus another rider hops on. I'm not supposing your horse has some kind of devious, complex evil plot. He might even like better the pro ride your trainer can deliver.

But too bad (within reason). He belongs to you and must learn to pack YOU around, not someone else. With training and some equipment used to make a training point, there's no reason he can't get there.

findeight
Apr. 21, 2009, 12:58 PM
May I suggest something here...your riding may be aggravating the situation.

When you duck like that, and this is pretty noticeable, you actually overweight the front end to the point they will struggle on landing, heck, some will flat out buck to protest. You get their balance way off and it can take 3 or 4 strides after landing to recover.

Maybe working on that will help???? Probably won't solve it completely but worth considerable thought.

There is usually a reason they do these things. Fixing the result is one way to deal, fixing the cause may be a better one.

RugBug
Apr. 21, 2009, 02:22 PM
May I suggest something here...your riding may be aggravating the situation.

When you duck like that, and this is pretty noticeable, you actually overweight the front end to the point they will struggle on landing, heck, some will flat out buck to protest. You get their balance way off and it can take 3 or 4 strides after landing to recover.

Maybe working on that will help???? Probably won't solve it completely but worth considerable thought.

There is usually a reason they do these things. Fixing the result is one way to deal, fixing the cause may be a better one.

She's ducking, sure...but she's not jumping ahead. She might be adding some weight to the front end, but it's not significant, IMO. The only think she needs to do is open her hip angle a bit (and move the stirrup closer to her toe :winkgrin:) and she'd be in a LOVELY position...better than 80% of the hunter riders out there. I highly doubt that her duck is 'getting his balance way off.'

I don't disagree that it does happen...I just say that based on that picture...I don't think that assessment can be made. Now if she was crawling up that horse's neck...you bet he might be protesting after the fence.

Tiffani B
Apr. 21, 2009, 03:02 PM
I think she just meant that they figure out tensing the jaw leads to pressure on the nose, so they "relax" the jaw (think "unclench" maybe, instead of "relax"). This doesn't exactly mean relaxation through the whole body, just that the horse figures out that trying to open the mouth and brace is not the easiest way to go in a chain noseband. Most horses will try to find the easiest route and take it.

Correct, that is what I meant. They learn bracing their jaw or opening their mouth has an uncomfortable result and don't do it. The "punishment" is IMMEDIATE, and happens every time - it leaves no question in the horses' mind the cause and effect. As I stated, it's usually worn for one or two workouts and then put away.

I would never use one with a standing martingale; I think the sudden harsh jerk on the nose would hurt, far more than the chain simply PRESSING on the nose when he clenches his jaw.

Anyhow, that is OT... back to the originally scheduled Q&A.

findeight
Apr. 21, 2009, 03:24 PM
He is EXCELLENT for my trainer (and for most other people) who can properly sit down and pick him up through their seat better than I can, but my physical limitations can often prevent me from doing so effectively.

I know I am citing my physical issues as the main reason for this problem, and I know that a few of you are probably thinking that I need to find another horse more suited to me


The horse is suitable if all he does is act stupid sometimes on landing.
The fact that he is excellent for the trainer and only does this at home with OP riding does hold a big clue and we can agree to disagree about the ducking overweighting the front end or if the chain lined noseband would have any effect on this at all.

It's good to ask, that's how you learn. Pick out the helpful stuff, ignore the rest.

Personal Champ
Apr. 21, 2009, 03:46 PM
Pain does have a place in training such as leading with chain to prevent accidents but I do not really see a place for pain inflicting devices in every-day training scenario, such as jumping.


Agreed, but the chain is uncomfortable, not like huge spikes or anything. Plus, I would doubt that this particular person is using it EVERY day. Most good trainers realize that a horse only has so many jumps in them...