View Full Version : question re: horses who hate nosebands

Cheval Gris
Apr. 27, 2010, 10:45 AM
So I have figured out that (after a dental makeover, chiro, different bits, etc) that my horse HATES nosebands. He flips his head a lot with a losely secured regular noseband (don't even go there with a flash). When I take the noseband off, so that it looks like a western bridle, he's immediately much quieter and the head tossing pretty much disappears. What do you do with horses like this? I can't walk into the dressage arena with a western bridle! Any thoughts?

Apr. 27, 2010, 11:28 AM
Are nosebands actually required in dressage?

Apr. 27, 2010, 11:28 AM
Have you tried adjusting it so that it is snug (not tight, just secure)? He may not like the feel of it bouncing on his nose if it is really loose. I would also just play with the adjustment (higher, lower), and the width (narrower, wider), and the comfort (padding vs no padding).

Apr. 27, 2010, 11:30 AM
Are nosebands actually required in dressage?

The way I read the rules, yes.

I also agree that you should try tightening the noseband so it is snug. My horses hate when the noseband is too loose -- I think it just annoys them.

Apr. 27, 2010, 11:31 AM
Also I would recommend trying several types of nosebands. I had a horse that hated a standard noseband or flash, but went fabulous in a drop noseband.

Apr. 27, 2010, 11:44 AM
Nosebands are required, yes.

I would try a drop and a figure-8 next. They fit differently and may not bother the same area that is bothering him. Try it both loose and snug.

You might also try totally wrapping it with fleece, so that it is not snug but not bouncing, just as an experiment.

Apr. 27, 2010, 01:40 PM
Your horse does not hate his nose band.

Your hands, maybe. :rolleyes:

Apr. 27, 2010, 02:03 PM
Your horse does not hate his nose band.
Your hands, maybe.

This is pretty uncalled for. I had a young TB who went very happily in a regular noseband with or without a flash, but turned into a psychotic head-shaking lunatic in a figure 8 (with or without rings, carefully adjusted by both me and my UL trainer).
My hands were my hands in either case (neither the best nor the worst), but the behavior with nothing else changed was stunningly different.

I understand from my vet that some horses have various things going on in their sinus cavities that can cause the noseband pressure to bother them. Also, some horses are so sensitive skinned that trying vast amounts of padding can make a difference, as well as seeing where the buckle hits and trying to change that. You might try a crank (not with the goal of cranking it at all, but because the buckle arrangement is different). You might also try a very wide and/or a very narrow noseband. And a final (though pricey) thought is the Micklem, designed with horse head anatomy in mind. It has made a difference for a couple horses I know. http://www.doversaddlery.com/product.asp?pn=X1-12976&bhcd2=1272391503

Apr. 27, 2010, 02:04 PM
Your horse does not hate his nose band.

Your hands, maybe. :rolleyes:

So how would you explain that fact that horse goes just fine without a noseband? The lack of a noseband alone isn't going to completely mask bad hands.

Cheval Gris
Apr. 27, 2010, 02:06 PM
I have always done snug, with head shaking; tried the looser recently, still shaking, then removed and he was happy. He has a padded and an unpadded.

Handsomebay-Elissa removed it today and he was perfectly happy after and she has nice hands! He hates the noseband.

I think we are going to try the figure 8 tommorow. Can you have a figure 8 in dressage?

Apr. 27, 2010, 02:08 PM
I think we are going to try the figure 8 tommorow. Can you have a figure 8 in dressage?


Cheval Gris
Apr. 27, 2010, 02:09 PM
HAndsome is my trainer! I don't have the softest hands in the world!

His dressage bridle has a crank/padded, and his jumping has just regular with no padding. He is SUPER sensitive in general and I think it just pisses him off.

Apr. 27, 2010, 02:29 PM
One of my childhood ponies disliked a noseband. When he had to show in one, I adjusted a regular caveson very high, a finger below the cheekbone. Then I would put it not snug, but not loose either. Picture that fake belt that comes on some Walmart pants -- there, but not doing anything.

Apr. 27, 2010, 02:46 PM
Ouch, scubed.

I have a headshaker. I know when a horse doesnt like a noseband.

O, and I ride this horse too....:cool:

Apr. 27, 2010, 02:58 PM
Your horse does not hate his nose band.

Your hands, maybe. :rolleyes:

HAndsome is my trainer! I don't have the softest hands in the world!

Uh, wow. I'm assuming the comment would have more humour in it in person, but how is that appropriate on a public BB?

To the OP - my mare really hated a regular noseband, but goes well in a drop tightened appropriately, and even better in a figure 8!

Apr. 27, 2010, 02:59 PM
"Walmart pants" LOL snort snort!!

Apr. 27, 2010, 03:18 PM
If it's really an issue that he is just sensitive, then you could try having him live in a halter or flymask for a while so he just gets used to something being on his nose. (My horse wasn't impressed with the new fly mask (http://www.greenhawk.com/cgi-local/SoftCart.exe/scstore/p-HOR0010.html?L+scstore+drqr5703ff3fbe3f+1272404040 )since it tickled his nose - too bad, the flies are worse, just get used to it!)

Apr. 27, 2010, 10:17 PM
I have a similar problem. Changed from flash noseband, where he was clearly able to open his mouth and cross his jaw, to the figure 8. He started fussing even when I was trying to buckle it! Anyhow he was very good about not trying to open his mouth while I hacked a little then when we got down to real work he was just thoroughly pissed about it. Couldn't WAIT to get that bridle off, rubbed his mouth immediately after I removed it as if to say, "BLECH!!!"
Bad part is he's wearing a horse crownpiece and browband but cob size in the nose. You can hear him trying to open the mouth and pull the tongue up, he makes sucking noises. Loose - he maws. Snug - he sucks his tongue around and keeps opening and trying to open. Tight - he's furious. There's gotta be a solution!

Apr. 28, 2010, 12:09 PM
There is an OTTB at our barn that cannot stand nosebands but she goes into her halter like a dream. Now she only does schooling shows so that may be how she gets away with it but the student rides the mare with the bridle over her halter. I am not sure if no one really cares or if the halter technically counts as a noseband. Granted it is a leather halter and matches the bridle. This horse is NOT grand Prix and only rides at Level 1 and training. She also jumps in the same rig with no issues. Even if its not a long term answer you might try the halter/bridle for a bit and see if that works.