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View Full Version : FLashes - who else does not like/use them?



shawneeAcres
Mar. 1, 2011, 01:54 PM
I find it very strange that nearly every dressage horse in a snaffle goes in a flash. I rarely use them, yes, on occasion, will use on a horse that really needs help keeping mouth shut, or crossing jaw. But I think it's a "crutch" somewhat like a stnading martingale can become a "crutch" to a hunter. Who else rarely uses a flash?

Eclectic Horseman
Mar. 1, 2011, 02:14 PM
I find it very strange that nearly every dressage horse in a snaffle goes in a flash. I rarely use them, yes, on occasion, will use on a horse that really needs help keeping mouth shut, or crossing jaw. But I think it's a "crutch" somewhat like a stnading martingale can become a "crutch" to a hunter. Who else rarely uses a flash?

Yup, all them BNTs and Olympians out there. Usin' crutches, every one. :lol:

Until, of course, the horse is in a double, then they miraculously throw away their crutches like they've been to the faith healer.

InsideLeg2OutsideRein
Mar. 1, 2011, 02:18 PM
Maybe you should go educate yourself about the *function* of tack in general. just sayin'.

RougeEmpire
Mar. 1, 2011, 02:20 PM
I find it very strange that nearly every dressage horse in a snaffle goes in a flash. I rarely use them, yes, on occasion, will use on a horse that really needs help keeping mouth shut, or crossing jaw. But I think it's a "crutch" somewhat like a stnading martingale can become a "crutch" to a hunter. Who else rarely uses a flash?

I rarely use a flash noseband. I show dressage in a regulare noseband (not a fan of "crank jaw bands either) or on occasion a Dropped Noseband. I DO think to many trainers use them a piece of standardized equipment, much like the Standing Martingale on hunters. I see the flash as a peice of training equipment to be used to help the horse "get it" and then off it comes. But yes most top dressage trainers use a flash on horses in a snaffle, but at THOSE levels it's a whole different ball of wax so to speak and trainers are more likely to utilize ANY "tool" they can to make a competative rider better. Winning is very important to keeping one's training business open and running.

shawneeAcres
Mar. 1, 2011, 02:34 PM
Maybe you should go educate yourself about the *function* of tack in general. just sayin'.

I am well aware of the function oftack, I haven't been riding/training horses for 25 years without having learned SOMETHING thank you! I see no reason for a flash on every horse! I ride 95% of horses without a flash and they all are perfectly happy to go quietly without it. I feel it is more of a "fad" than anything else, not being used properly as a "tool" by most riders. I have many "tools" in my barn, but I don't just automatically slap a flash on every horse. Most horses that I ahve that have been ridden in a flash, go just as well without one, so I see no reason for it.

Eclectic Horseman
Mar. 1, 2011, 02:53 PM
I am well aware of the function oftack, I haven't been riding/training horses for 25 years without having learned SOMETHING thank you! I see no reason for a flash on every horse! I ride 95% of horses without a flash and they all are perfectly happy to go quietly without it. I feel it is more of a "fad" than anything else, not being used properly as a "tool" by most riders. I have many "tools" in my barn, but I don't just automatically slap a flash on every horse. Most horses that I ahve that have been ridden in a flash, go just as well without one, so I see no reason for it.

Do you use a seat belt when you drive?

A flash is to be used as a preventative. Once the horse learns to evade the action of the bit by opening his mouth, it is virtually impossible to cure. All horses will attempt to find an easier way to do the work as we train them up the levels. Opening the mouth is an "evasion" that the horse uses to make things easier for himself. If your horse never tries to evade, you are probably not challenging him enough in the work.

Once you "need" a flash, it is too late to use one--it won't solve the problem.

mg
Mar. 1, 2011, 03:03 PM
I don't use one because my pony is happier without one. I think it depends on the horse. I think a lot of people may automatically use them because nearly every single dressage bridle automatically comes with one now. It's frustrating trying to find a non-flash dressage bridle (well, at least in pony size!) if you don't like that "tab" left empty on the noseband!

meaty ogre
Mar. 1, 2011, 03:17 PM
Interesting. I never thought of using a flash as a "preventative."

I tend to do my nosebands more loosely than most. One of my friends is of the opposite school of thought - that if you're going to bother to use one it should be tight.

I know you can't compare horse and human anatomy, but I know that if I place my thumb on my chin and my index finger on my nose, and apply any amount of pressure, even very slight, I feel tension in my tempromandibular joint. The horse can be obediently keeping his mouth shut, but still holding tension in the jaw.

I've only had one yap flapper and I wasn't able to fix the gaping mouth with any nosebands I tried (but once I fixed his saddle fit he was happy to go around with his trap shut again, so it wasn't so much an evasion as his way of telling me he wasn't comfortable). I guess it depends on the horse.

FWIW, I think standing martingales are pretty useless. If they're adjusted tight enough that they restrict the horse from getting the head too high, the horse usually learns to brace against it and develops that lovely upside down neck muscling. If adjusted loosely, they really don't serve much purpose.

MLD
Mar. 1, 2011, 03:18 PM
I no longer use the flash part of my noseband. I haven't in a year. Did my mare need this tool before... Yes! In fact, I use to ride her in a crescent noseband. But now since I am with a new trainer and I am actually learning to ride the horse back to front and she is no longer just running around on the forehand she is able to go in a loosely tightened crank noseband with no flash. By loose, I mean three fingers easily fit under it. I prefer the crank nosebands because the have more padding than a regular... just because they are called crank doesn't mean they have to be extra tight. Do I think they are a fad... No...I don't. I think they are a tool that have a useful purpose in some cases. Do I think they are over used.... Yes, like MG said, because most dressage snaffle bridles come with them.

belgianWBLuver
Mar. 1, 2011, 03:32 PM
[QUOTE=Eclectic Horseman;5456503 If your horse never tries to evade, you are probably not challenging him enough in the work.]

Seriously??:lol::lol::lol:

Or is it - if your horse never tries to evade he is happy in his work - keeping in mind he is really progressing and being ridden toward lightness and schwung.

Flashes or dropped nosebands in this horseman's barn are used when needed and only to correct a situation then removed.

My motto a happy horse is a sound, hardworking, eager to please individual.... Just sayin

InsideLeg2OutsideRein
Mar. 1, 2011, 03:34 PM
The properly adjusted flash as well as a drop noseband transfer rein pressure to the nose, away from the jaw. They also help keep the bit properly positioned in the horse's mouth. There are of course individual cases in which a horse's needs (injuries, specific conformation issues etc.) require different tack, but in general, flashes are not evil, not gadgets, just appropriate means in riding a horse properly.

And there are some things one doesn't learn be doing.

Eclectic Horseman
Mar. 1, 2011, 03:39 PM
Eclectic Horseman: If your horse never tries to evade, you are probably not challenging him enough in the work.

Seriously??:lol::lol::lol:

Or is it - if your horse never tries to evade he is happy in his work - keeping in mind he is really progressing and being ridden toward lightness and schwung.

Flashes or dropped nosebands in this horseman's barn are used when needed and only to correct a situation then removed.

My motto a happy horse is a sound, hardworking, eager to please individual.... Just sayin

Some people are perfectly happy remaining at Training and First Level forever. Horses have it easier, too. Whatever floats your boat. Just don't get all *I know better* than all the World Cup riders or the classical trainers for that matter. Even the sainted SRS use drop nosebands for the very same reasons.

I mean get over yourself. :rolleyes: Don't you think that these world class professional trainers know exactly what they are doing and why they are doing it? Do you really think that you are right and that they are all clueless or wrong? Puh-leeze.

belgianWBLuver
Mar. 1, 2011, 03:49 PM
Some people are perfectly happy remaining at Training and First Level forever. Horses have it easier, too. Whatever floats your boat. Just don't get all *I know better* than all the World Cup riders or the classical trainers for that matter. Even the sainted SRS use drop nosebands for the very same reasons.

I mean get over yourself. :rolleyes: Don't you think that these world class professional trainers know exactly what they are doing and why they are doing it? Do you really think that you are right and that they are all clueless or wrong? Puh-leeze.

Thank you for setting me straight...of course you are always right - Prozac anyone?? :lol:

EqTrainer
Mar. 1, 2011, 04:28 PM
I use them when i need them and dont when i dont. I dont buy into the preventative use at all.

MelantheLLC
Mar. 1, 2011, 04:41 PM
The properly adjusted flash as well as a drop noseband transfer rein pressure to the nose, away from the jaw. They also help keep the bit properly positioned in the horse's mouth.

I can see that they would stabilize the bit, both by holding the bit in place and preventing the horse from manipulating it.

I'm less convinced that they transfer rein pressure to the nose. Is there a study that demonstrates this? (This is a completely serious question, please do not reply with snark.) I don't quite see the physics of how that would happen, but I'm open to having it explained to me.

Personally, I don't use one because I want to know if my hands are creating a reason for the horse to want to open his mouth. This is for my use; I'm not against them in general but I feel they may obscure problems I am creating.

scubed
Mar. 1, 2011, 04:41 PM
I apparently selectively purchase horses that are really into opening their mouths and/or trying to get their tongues over the bit (really), so I generally use one, but if I had a horse that would obediently keep its mouth shut (which has been true of a couple I have leased/ridden in lessons), I would be happy to ride without a flash.

bigbaytb
Mar. 1, 2011, 04:50 PM
I have found my 11 yr old Ottb, who likes to open his mouth to evade, goes much better in a drop noseband than a flash or standard noseband or fig 8. i don't like to crank it tight, but I feel he can still move his jaw alot better than a flash or fig 8 and it's enough to remind him to keep his mouth shut. I switch to that on a whim last year from a flash and he just loves it.

My 6 year old WB mare is happy as a clam with a standard caveson.

My trainer likes the "kiss" method, but feels, that it depends on the horse...and the rider ..for some equipment.

ddashaq
Mar. 1, 2011, 04:55 PM
My arab goes in one, my TB does not. Just depends on the horse.

shawneeAcres
Mar. 1, 2011, 06:19 PM
My point with this thread was that it seems that nearly everyone "buys into" using a flash on a horse and really has no reason behind it. I agree that they have a use, but do not do buy into "preventative" use. I see people using them that have them TOTALLY incorrect. Too low, loo loose, WAY too tight etc and I'd bet 9 out of 10 of them can't give you a good "reason" for the use. As I see it, this is a TOOL to be used when NEEDED and I don't need them very often. THat is my point, glad to see others also see that (and that others just stand on their pedestal and look down on us!)

Bogey2
Mar. 1, 2011, 06:31 PM
oops, am I on the UDBB. Sorry, I must have taken a wrong turn at the lights:lol:
Honestly, what is with the holier than thou attitudes on the 'net?

I find it very strange that nearly every dressage horse in a snaffle goes in a flash.
I have some that do and some that don't and have all level of horses. Hell, I even rode my schoolmaster in a snaffle with a flash when I was learning dressage. I managed not to kill him. Then I moved to the double and learned how to use that. Again, I managed not to kill him and he in now 25 and can still do some of the moves with a snaffle and flash!:D

shawneeAcres
Mar. 1, 2011, 06:36 PM
I never said flashes "kill horses" or even harm them I said I felt that they were often used for no real reason, just "because everyone else does it". Kinda like "D" rings in hunters, "Everyone" uses them. Except the difference between a D ring and another ring is fairly insignificant on a snaffle, but a flash, when cranking the mouth shut does a lot more harm than good. I got to thinking about this from 1) hacing been a bit checker last fall and having to call the TD on more than one horse that you COULD NOT get a finger between the flash and the mouth and 2) from my stallion, whom was ridden in a flash by a trainer, yet I ride him with no flash and he is nice and soft, actually tends to "curl up" with the flash.

Bogey2
Mar. 1, 2011, 06:46 PM
I felt that they were often used for no real reason, just "because everyone else does it".
well I think you make a big assumption. I ride a horse that used to curl, and he curled form the moment I broke him. He is now 6 and does not curl any longer because I happen to have a trainer who worked with me to train him correctly. Guess what? I use a flash on him. He curled because that was HIS evasion, not because I have harsh hands or used gadgets. He did it because he could.
I also have a couple of horse I use no flash on, one a dropped nose band one just a plain nose band.

shawneeAcres
Mar. 1, 2011, 07:15 PM
well I think you make a big assumption. I ride a horse that used to curl, and he curled form the moment I broke him. He is now 6 and does not curl any longer because I happen to have a trainer who worked with me to train him correctly. Guess what? I use a flash on him. He curled because that was HIS evasion, not because I have harsh hands or used gadgets. He did it because he could.
I also have a couple of horse I use no flash on, one a dropped nose band one just a plain nose band.

I am talking about people who use them on every.single.horse.no.matter.what and for no real reason. Not the person who uses it as a tool for a specific problem. I know trainers who simply wont ride OR teach a lesson to a horse without a flash, and frankly I find that mind boggling!

Bogey2
Mar. 1, 2011, 08:24 PM
and just how do you know this? c'mon, get off your soap box. You are trying to be high and mighty.

InsideLeg2OutsideRein
Mar. 1, 2011, 09:12 PM
I'm less convinced that they transfer rein pressure to the nose. Is there a study that demonstrates this? (This is a completely serious question, please do not reply with snark.) I don't quite see the physics of how that would happen, but I'm open to having it explained to me.


Yes indeed, I didn't come up with that myself. St. Georg ran a big article on this I'd say within the last year, I'll try to dig it up.

shawneeAcres
Mar. 1, 2011, 09:20 PM
and just how do you know this? c'mon, get off your soap box. You are trying to be high and mighty.

My goodness? How is it "high and mighty" to ask a simple question. Go to any dressage show and count how many people have flashes. Then start looking at how they are adjusted. then start asking people WHY they are using it. Most won't have a good answer. I am NOT trying to be high and mighty, I am trying to ASK why this tool is so overused. If I go to a hunter show and see all the horses with a standing martigale, I ask the same thing. And guess what, most are not adjusted properly and most of the horses don't need them, they are there because everyone else does it. When I grew up doing dressage in the 70;s NOONE used a flash. If anyone used anything it was a drop noseband, but they were not very prevalent. I think the flash has become a "symbol" of "I am a dressage rider" and not something that is being used for the benefit of the horse or riding in many cases. I am not "accusing" anyone here of that, most of the responses (altho not all) say they will use it on some horses and not on others, that is a responsible way to handle a tool. But to carte blanche use a flash on every horse makes no sense to me.

Bogey2
Mar. 1, 2011, 09:25 PM
you are assuming it's overused

inca
Mar. 1, 2011, 09:34 PM
Just because someone asks a question and has a different opinion than you does NOT mean they are being "high and mighty."

I prefer not to use a flash but will when I need to. Currently 3 out of my 4 horses (one schooling 3rd level) do NOT need a flash. So, it's not that I am happy just doing training/first level and that is why I don't need a flash. (THAT comment seemed more "high and mighty" than anything the OP said.)

And truthfully, the 4th horse might be fine without one also. I bought her when she was 14 and she was always ridden in one so I also use one. That is, when I am not riding in the double with her.

There *ARE* trainers out there that just automatically put a flash on every horse. I agree that it is kind of like the D ring or standing martingale with the hunters. Just standard dressage equipment for lots of people, whether the horse truly needs it or not.

MelantheLLC
Mar. 1, 2011, 09:38 PM
Yes indeed, I didn't come up with that myself. St. Georg ran a big article on this I'd say within the last year, I'll try to dig it up.


Thanks I'd really appreciate that.

If they do apply pressure to the nose, then it does suggest they might encourage a curling under in addition to preventing the mouth from opening.

SillyHorse
Mar. 1, 2011, 09:43 PM
I am talking about people who use them on every.single.horse.no.matter.what and for no real reason. Not the person who uses it as a tool for a specific problem. I know trainers who simply wont ride OR teach a lesson to a horse without a flash, and frankly I find that mind boggling!


and just how do you know this? c'mon, get off your soap box. You are trying to be high and mighty.
I'll tell you how I know this. I rode once with a trainer who said, "A flash is a way of life for a dressage horse." That's a direct quote. So yes, there ARE people who use them on every.single.horse.no.matter.what and for no real reason. This trainer had one client riding her horse in a double bridle and a flash. So Bogey, you'd be surprised what people do.

BTW, the day I left that trainer, the flash came off and never went back on. My horse doesn't need it, "preventative" (that's a crock, IMO) or otherwise.

xrmn002
Mar. 1, 2011, 10:30 PM
Have to admit- I use one and have absolutely no idea why. Trainer recommended it when we ordered his bridle. He is nice and light in the bridle and happy in his work so I am okay with it and honestly have never thought twice about it. Most of my trainer's horses have them and also go happily in a snaffle or double so I think something is working?!

quietann
Mar. 1, 2011, 11:12 PM
Very much a smurf here... when we were in dressage training, my trainer put maresy in a flash right away, and didn't really explain why, except she was putting her tongue over the bit. I went along with it, but now wish I'd asked more questions about flashes.

In the interim, I found out from maresy's breeder that she'd used a flash *occasionally* to deal with specific issues, but 90% of the time, no flash was used.

Maresy is rehabbing from surgery, and when I started riding her again, I left the flash off because she really does not like it. As we progressed to trotting, she started putting her tongue over the bit -- which would cause panicky headshaking, and no, she didn't learn "don't DO that!" even though she's a smart horse. So I put the flash back on, and raised the bit in her mouth just a little. I am still using a flash, but it's pretty loose, and I hope to be able to ditch it soon.

I'm treating it like a tool, to help deal with a specific issue. I don't think flashes are bad, but I do wonder about using them as a default just because "everyone does it."

IdahoRider
Mar. 1, 2011, 11:20 PM
I don't use one on my gelding. He doesn't need it, so I see no use for it.
Sheilah

Kaluna
Mar. 1, 2011, 11:30 PM
I find it very strange that nearly every dressage horse in a snaffle goes in a flash. I rarely use them, yes, on occasion, will use on a horse that really needs help keeping mouth shut, or crossing jaw. But I think it's a "crutch" somewhat like a stnading martingale can become a "crutch" to a hunter. Who else rarely uses a flash?

This depends on the horse. If the horse never needs it but it's there, how can you call it a crutch? You can put a standard or running martingale on most dressage horses and they don't need it/don't benefit from it. That's not a crutch it's an unecessary piece of equipment. It's more of a fashion statement, in my opinion.

MelantheLLC
Mar. 1, 2011, 11:39 PM
Just try to buy a dressage snaffle bridle w/o a flash. ;)

Kaluna
Mar. 1, 2011, 11:48 PM
Just try to buy a dressage snaffle bridle w/o a flash. ;)

Just take the flash off. Who cares about the loop.

MelantheLLC
Mar. 1, 2011, 11:53 PM
It's just an interesting insight into their popularity.

And actually I don't like the loop, but yeah, that's the only option. Plus then you have to buy a matching French cavesson, and that adds up to some significant money if you are buying a very nice bridle. (Ask me how I know.)

Petstorejunkie
Mar. 2, 2011, 12:51 AM
Just an observation with my own quirky horse
when I have the inclination to put the flash on, I've also noticed its the same days I seem to forget my inside leg exists....
just sayin'

Festivity
Mar. 2, 2011, 02:23 AM
No flash here. Don't need one on my guys, never have so no point in using one.

Vesper Sparrow
Mar. 2, 2011, 07:00 AM
Both of my horses (TBs) go better without one. But I wonder, at shows, whether having a flash on your horse telegraphs the statement that you are a serious rider and that you have a good trainer who follows accepted training practices.

I wonder if there isn't a very slight subliminal prejudice against horses who don't have a flash in the show ring. I don't see many horses without flashes at the national shows.

cheektwocheek
Mar. 2, 2011, 08:43 AM
Both of my horses (TBs) go better without one. But I wonder, at shows, whether having a flash on your horse telegraphs the statement that you are a serious rider and that you have a good trainer who follows accepted training practices.

I wonder if there isn't a very slight subliminal prejudice against horses who don't have a flash in the show ring. I don't see many horses without flashes at the national shows.



Good point. Do you "want" to be the odd one whithout a flash, or PC?

SillyHorse
Mar. 2, 2011, 08:53 AM
Seriously? You would worry about that?

Eclectic Horseman
Mar. 2, 2011, 09:00 AM
Both of my horses (TBs) go better without one. But I wonder, at shows, whether having a flash on your horse telegraphs the statement that you are a serious rider and that you have a good trainer who follows accepted training practices.

I wonder if there isn't a very slight subliminal prejudice against horses who don't have a flash in the show ring. I don't see many horses without flashes at the national shows.


Apparently, you don't go to any shows that hold classes at 3rd Level or above??? The double bridle does not have a flash. By then the horse is trained to accept the aids--and he no longer needs it.

I am always amazed that when all of the experts world wide--classical and competitive--agree on something, there are still people on this board who think that those people are all wrong and don't know what they are doing. :no:

scrtwh
Mar. 2, 2011, 09:15 AM
I have never had to use a flash on any of my horsies. They work just fine without it.

pattnic
Mar. 2, 2011, 09:29 AM
A flash is to be used as a preventative. Once the horse learns to evade the action of the bit by opening his mouth, it is virtually impossible to cure. All horses will attempt to find an easier way to do the work as we train them up the levels. Opening the mouth is an "evasion" that the horse uses to make things easier for himself. If your horse never tries to evade, you are probably not challenging him enough in the work.


[QUOTE=Eclectic Horseman;5456503 If your horse never tries to evade, you are probably not challenging him enough in the work.]

Seriously??:lol::lol::lol:

Or is it - if your horse never tries to evade he is happy in his work?

Interesting thoughts, both of you. Again, as others have mentioned, I think it depends on the horse. The mare has always done the gaping mouth thing when asked to work harder on the flat... for her a flash might very well have been useful as a preventative. The gelding, on the other hand, often plays with his bit (quite annoying, the way he does it, actually), but has never offered to evade the bit by opening his mouth. His evasion as work gets harder is much more likely for him to go up... :uhoh:

Interestingly, the mare's mouth is much quieter when jumping. For several years, I used flashes and figure eights to, uh, "encourage" her to keep her trap shut... it was only by chance this past September that I finally realized that MANY of the problems we were having were directly connected to her displeasure with having her mouth strapped shut.

Since I do primarily jumpers with her, I've decided that I would rather have a happy horse. She really doesn't care much for dressage, but since I'll probably never compete with her in it, I'm not going to worry too much about how much she opens her mouth as we do compulsory work that ultimately benefits our jumping. Yes, I know it's an evasion, but I think as the work becomes easier for her, she will do it less. And in the meantime, I'm not going to do anything to intentionally piss her off and ultimately make everything harder than necessary.


I apparently selectively purchase horses that are really into opening their mouths and/or trying to get their tongues over the bit

:lol::lol::lol:

Vesper Sparrow
Mar. 2, 2011, 09:38 AM
Apparently, you don't go to any shows that hold classes at 3rd Level or above??? The double bridle does not have a flash. By then the horse is trained to accept the aids--and he no longer needs it.

I am always amazed that when all of the experts world wide--classical and competitive--agree on something, there are still people on this board who think that those people are all wrong and don't know what they are doing. :no:

Obviously, I'm excluding everyone going in a double.

Vesper Sparrow
Mar. 2, 2011, 09:43 AM
Seriously? You would worry about that?

To be honest, when you have a TB that obviously looks like a TB you are already behind the eight-ball at the high-level shows (I saw only one other horse I could identify as a TB) and you want to blend in as much as possible. Although we didn't use a flash, I was considering using one fitted very loosely.

rivenoak
Mar. 2, 2011, 09:49 AM
I use them when i need them and dont when i dont. I dont buy into the preventative use at all.

Same.

That said, very few horses I've ridden needed a flash.

MLD
Mar. 2, 2011, 11:44 AM
Both of my horses (TBs) go better without one. But I wonder, at shows, whether having a flash on your horse telegraphs the statement that you are a serious rider and that you have a good trainer who follows accepted training practices.

I wonder if there isn't a very slight subliminal prejudice against horses who don't have a flash in the show ring. I don't see many horses without flashes at the national shows.

I would tend to think the opposite. A judge seeing a very nicely going horse without a flash might think what a great rider/trainer to have the horse going round, on the bit and stepping up under from behind without using extra tools.

Acceptable training practices does not necessarily include a flash.

Mozart
Mar. 2, 2011, 01:09 PM
All my previous horses have schooled in flashes (or figure 8). About a year ago I bought a beautiful padded crank noseband on extreme sale (sort of on a whim) and it did not have a flash attachment. Discovered my horse gave me a much better connection and was happier in the mouth without it. I don't "crank" the crank.

From now on I will try with and without and see what works best.

Isabeau Z Solace
Mar. 2, 2011, 01:16 PM
Just try to buy a dressage snaffle bridle w/o a flash. ;)

Judicious use of a razor blade makes the cute little loopy thing go away.....

KatherineC
Mar. 2, 2011, 02:31 PM
I stopped using the flash a few months ago because frankly I was tired of cleaning it and my horse didn't seem to need it. I've always used one mainly because dressage bridles come with it.

But I still have the attachment thing on the nose band. So I need to decide if I cut if off with said razor blade, which is a very permanent fix to an expensive bridle.

This is my show bridle which means I will be doing forth level in a snaffle bit with no flash. Gasp....Will be wearing a helmet as well.

netg
Mar. 2, 2011, 02:45 PM
I thought I would be using a flash on my guy when I got him because he used to gape his mouth a lot. Turns out, he needs a skinny bit because of his low palate.

He chews softly when I ride, which includes opening and closing his mouth because he doesn't have room to do it with his mouth closed. It's not gaping to protest, but a soft constant communication. I wouldn't put a flash on him right now because of it.

I've used flashes on horses who needed them. And I don't have a problem with people using one, needed or not, as long as tack is adjusted properly. Whatever works for the horse, and if it doesn't matter for the horse -whatever you feel like.

easyrider
Mar. 2, 2011, 03:28 PM
Food for thought:

The flash was named after a showjumper with the same name. It was devised to provide a point of attachment for a standing martingale, while giving some of the action of a drop noseband. The action of the drop would be too severe with the martingale, so...voila! The compromise of a flash. (As an aside, some of us are old enough to remember that standing martingales were once as obligatory for jumpers as flash nosebands are today for dressage horses. There are definitely fads in tack.)

Alpha Mare
Mar. 2, 2011, 03:33 PM
I am with Melanthe, I prefer not to use one and treat mouth issues as rider concerns. now my mares are pretty good with the bit, so I could see more use of a flash with horses that 'need' it for whatever reason.

I do agree that some trainers ALWAYS use one and I find many flashes too tight (truly strapping the mouth shut).

At the same time I also agree with Eclectic Horseman, in the more challenging work horses may have stronger contact (staying round in extended canter is my current example). When horses are excited they can get their tongue over the bit not meaning to be an avoidance... whether they are green beenies or more advanced. For myself, making sure the bit is high enough in the mouth solved the issue but I know what EH meant.

And what I find is, black bridles have flashes. Brown bridles do not. So I use brown tack on my chestnut :-)

sophie
Mar. 2, 2011, 06:30 PM
I got rid of the flash on my bridle years ago, when I realized my Ottb mare went much better without it.
I haven't had the guts to cut the loop tho...lol

To me it's obvious that riders do follow fashion and fads. Just like the non-horsey population does.

Callaway
Mar. 2, 2011, 06:39 PM
I do not school with a flash, but only because my horses get uber foamy mouths and it makes the flash really hard to clean, especially when there are little itty bitty pieces of hay stuck to the leather. I only show my under saddle horses with flashes (I keep flashes off for my breeding stock showing in hand). I don't notice a difference in the way they go with or without.

Pony Fixer
Mar. 2, 2011, 07:45 PM
I don't use a flash on my young-ish horse. He has always been "funny" about anything touching his face/lips/muzzle and I realized that I used it only because of convention. I bought a bridle without an attachment and never looked back.

I show extensively at the national level (multiple All Breeds wins in 2010) and have never considered a judge would think differently because I did or did not have a flash. I bet most of them don't even notice.

cutemudhorse
Mar. 2, 2011, 08:02 PM
Food for thought:

The flash was named after a showjumper with the same name. It was devised to provide a point of attachment for a standing martingale, while giving some of the action of a drop noseband. The action of the drop would be too severe with the martingale, so...voila! The compromise of a flash. (As an aside, some of us are old enough to remember that standing martingales were once as obligatory for jumpers as flash nosebands are today for dressage horses. There are definitely fads in tack.)

Very interesting! Thank you!!

I do not use a flash on anyone at this time. Years ago I did because it was (still is?) implied that it is 'correct' as opposed to a regular cavesson regardless if you needed it or not ---- yes we were told it allowed the horse to carry the bit correctly etc etc. I think the bit needs to fit correctly and the horse needs to be taught correctly and he should have a quiet mouth even with :eek: NO cavesson.
That said, I'm sure there are those horses that need it and those riders who like cleaning it!! :lol:

Equibrit
Mar. 2, 2011, 09:07 PM
They are the result of people trying to train horses with heavy hands and single jointed snaffle bits. With the advent of kinder double jointed bits, the flash is largely unnnecessary, as the horse no longer gets jabbed in the roof of the mouth.

Eclectic Horseman
Mar. 3, 2011, 10:44 AM
Food for thought:

The flash was named after a showjumper with the same name. It was devised to provide a point of attachment for a standing martingale, while giving some of the action of a drop noseband. The action of the drop would be too severe with the martingale, so...voila! The compromise of a flash. (As an aside, some of us are old enough to remember that standing martingales were once as obligatory for jumpers as flash nosebands are today for dressage horses. There are definitely fads in tack.)

Historically, the dropped noseband was always used by the Spanish Riding School and other dressage riders when schooling in the snaffle. The flash serves the identical purpose to the dropped noseband. But the dropped noseband is not very attractive--it makes almost every horse look like it has a long Roman nose. The flash is much more attractive and modern dressage riders switched over to it from the dropped noseband.

Druid Acres
Mar. 3, 2011, 02:59 PM
Interesting thread.

I see the flash attachment mostly as a "fashion statement." Kinda like tall boots - you can certainly ride without them, but they're expected when you show at a certain level.

My horse has a "schooling bridle" that is an old hunter bridle with no noseband at all. We do all of our schooling and everyday riding in it, and he goes just fine.

However, at shows he wears his "good" bridle, which does indeed have a flash, and which I adjust as loosely as I can get away with.

CelticRiverDance
Mar. 3, 2011, 04:01 PM
Some people are perfectly happy remaining at Training and First Level forever. Horses have it easier, too. Whatever floats your boat. Just don't get all *I know better* than all the World Cup riders or the classical trainers for that matter. Even the sainted SRS use drop nosebands for the very same reasons.

I mean get over yourself. :rolleyes: Don't you think that these world class professional trainers know exactly what they are doing and why they are doing it? Do you really think that you are right and that they are all clueless or wrong? Puh-leeze.


I think we need the Attitude Police here. :eek: If anyone needs to get over themselves, it's you. What a bunch of rude postings. Having a bad day, are you?:confused:

VCT
Mar. 3, 2011, 05:39 PM
I use a flash generally.. unless I am going in a type of class that you should not have one in. (I show in all sorts of things with my horses)

It helps stabilize the bit.

My young horse likes to repeatedly stick his tongue out, like licking nothing. He isn't trying to evade, it's just a habitual thing. The flash reminds him not to, but he still can do it. The flash is... snug but not tight. He does it much less when he is doing a task he is familiar with... and he definitely does it less with the flash on. We joke that he does it when he is thinking.

Both my horses go fine with or without it.

Shagyas Rock
Apr. 27, 2011, 12:04 PM
I don't use flash nosebands either. I don't seem to need one. I started this young horse at age four and he's eight now, schooling First level and playing around with Second.
My coach doesn't use them either - unless she has a specific horse that is trying to evade the bit etc.

horsepix76
Apr. 28, 2011, 09:06 AM
Interesting thread.

I see the flash attachment mostly as a "fashion statement." Kinda like tall boots - you can certainly ride without them, but they're expected when you show at a certain level.

My horse has a "schooling bridle" that is an old hunter bridle with no noseband at all. We do all of our schooling and everyday riding in it, and he goes just fine.

However, at shows he wears his "good" bridle, which does indeed have a flash, and which I adjust as loosely as I can get away with.

That's pretty much how I feel too. My daily riding is also done in a schooling bridle without a noseband and my horse (and training projects) all do just fine in it.

When I first got my mare off the track, I did use a bridle with a flash. However, I found that her evasion was related to the type/size of bit in her mouth. After a few different options, we settled on a french link Baucher and have never looked back. For her, it really had nothing to do with forcing the mouth closed. She just wanted to be comfortable. Can't say I blame her.

AllWeatherGal
Apr. 28, 2011, 09:16 AM
My point with this thread was that it seems that nearly everyone "buys into" using a flash on a horse and really has no reason behind it.

And yet, here are people sayin they don't.


I see people using them that have them TOTALLY incorrect.

I see people RIDING totally incorrectly.


As I see it, this is a TOOL to be used when NEEDED and I don't need them very often. THat is my point, glad to see others also see that (and that others just stand on their pedestal and look down on us!)

That's awesome that you don't need them very often. I've ridden with them and without them. Yes, it takes some work to find nosebands without flash tabs, but it can be done. I think that's because more people DO ride horses that need them because of how they're being ridden (see previous note on incorrectly ... but not through any malice, just beginning riders and those without excellent regular instruction are not going to be entirely correct.)

I'm schooling a horse now in a bitless bridle ... no flash on that puppy.

"nearly everyone", "most people", the "normal thing" ... all guaranteed to raise someone's hackles, IMO.

Big_Grey_hunter
Apr. 28, 2011, 03:10 PM
I find it very strange that nearly every dressage horse in a snaffle goes in a flash. I rarely use them, yes, on occasion, will use on a horse that really needs help keeping mouth shut, or crossing jaw. But I think it's a "crutch" somewhat like a stnading martingale can become a "crutch" to a hunter. Who else rarely uses a flash?

Just a lowly hunter rider here, creeping into the Dressage world to voice my opinion.

Standing martingales are usually NOT a crutch. Most hunters wear standings as a fashion thing. Even the most dead broke fancy ponies often wear them. 6 figure ponies certainly don't need a crutch to win :lol: My two don't wear them, but I wouldn't have a problem throwing a loose one on if a trainer wanted me too. On a horse with a strange should/neck connection, the standing martingale can break up the connection and give a better appearance :) My last guy had such a pretty neck the martingale would have taken away from that

I imagine flashes do the same thing for many dressage horses. Provide an 'image' of dressage without doing a thing to help or hurt the horse.

*Disclainer* I know there are those who overly tigten flashes and standing martingales, but I feel they are the minority, not the majority (at least in hunter world)

IrishDeclan
Apr. 28, 2011, 09:03 PM
Just a lowly hunter rider here, creeping into the Dressage world to voice my opinion.

Standing martingales are usually NOT a crutch. Most hunters wear standings as a fashion thing. Even the most dead broke fancy ponies often wear them. 6 figure ponies certainly don't need a crutch to win :lol: My two don't wear them, but I wouldn't have a problem throwing a loose one on if a trainer wanted me too. On a horse with a strange should/neck connection, the standing martingale can break up the connection and give a better appearance :) My last guy had such a pretty neck the martingale would have taken away from that

I imagine flashes do the same thing for many dressage horses. Provide an 'image' of dressage without doing a thing to help or hurt the horse.

*Disclainer* I know there are those who overly tigten flashes and standing martingales, but I feel they are the minority, not the majority (at least in hunter world)

I'm not sure I totally agree with this. Nobody that I know uses a flash just for the sake of a "look". My guy has worn one and gone without depending on where he was in his training at the time. A correctly fitting flash did wonders for him when he was in his "I'm going to avoid the contact by opening my mouth" phase. :winkgrin:

Galloping Granny
Apr. 29, 2011, 08:48 AM
I have had it with this board. The OP asked a perfectly civil, reasonable question, and from the first reply the rudeness started. It has continued for four pages. ( My apologies to the few of you to whom this does not apply.) the motive of most replies seem to be not furthering the discussion, but to try to make the OP or someone else appear uneducated or like they are being ccritical of others when they are not. I have an opinin of flashes, and I am kept honest all the time when students from other disciplines ask me about them. Am I going to post it here? You've got to be kidding!

Thankyou for tolerating my rant, and please play nice. There is enough rudeness in the world already.

WILLOW&CAL
Apr. 29, 2011, 09:22 AM
I agree, with Galloping Granny. If its not the question, then its a perceived 'tone'...Seriously? can we not just bypass the semantics and get down to the meat of the question asked?
I think its important to be a thinking rider and asking valid question about a 'tool' is just that.

dkcbr
Apr. 29, 2011, 11:51 AM
Here is a completely dispassionate comment: if you don't want to use a flash and don't want the little loopy thingy left over, don't hack away with a razor blade. Just get a leather repair person to open up the stitching, remove the loop, and restitch. et voila! you have a plain cavesson that looks very nice! :)

LSM1212
Apr. 29, 2011, 12:28 PM
I use a flash generally.. unless I am going in a type of class that you should not have one in. (I show in all sorts of things with my horses)

It helps stabilize the bit.

My young horse likes to repeatedly stick his tongue out, like licking nothing. He isn't trying to evade, it's just a habitual thing. The flash reminds him not to, but he still can do it. The flash is... snug but not tight. He does it much less when he is doing a task he is familiar with... and he definitely does it less with the flash on. We joke that he does it when he is thinking.

Both my horses go fine with or without it.

I had to chime in on this one. My horse likes to stick his tongue out a lot too. Always has since I bought him. :) He comes from a Hunter back ground.

I'm one of those few people that can't stand the look of a flash. But I love the look of a figure 8.

Does it really help stabilize the bit? How about a Figure 8? Does that also help? I know the Figure 8's are used more for horses that open their mouth and cross their jaw.

TIA

Trevelyan96
Apr. 29, 2011, 02:05 PM
I don't, but I can see why there are so many of them out there. It was like finding a needle in a haystack to find a plain black snaffle bridle without a flash, and I can't stand the sight of one with the little loop hanging from the noseband.

allison finch
Apr. 29, 2011, 10:56 PM
I am well aware of the function oftack, I haven't been riding/training horses for 25 years without having learned SOMETHING thank you! I see no reason for a flash on every horse! I ride 95% of horses without a flash and they all are perfectly happy to go quietly without it. I feel it is more of a "fad" than anything else, not being used properly as a "tool" by most riders. I have many "tools" in my barn, but I don't just automatically slap a flash on every horse. Most horses that I ahve that have been ridden in a flash, go just as well without one, so I see no reason for it.


I agree. Flashes are overused. I use one only if the horse needs one. I do not consider it a piece of adornment. It is a piece of corrective equipment. If the horse doesn't need correcting, why advertise that it does? Just my opinion. I rarely need to show in a flash.

allison finch
Apr. 29, 2011, 11:01 PM
Some people are perfectly happy remaining at Training and First Level forever. Horses have it easier, too. Whatever floats your boat. Just don't get all *I know better* than all the World Cup riders or the classical trainers for that matter. Even the sainted SRS use drop nosebands for the very same reasons.

I mean get over yourself. :rolleyes: Don't you think that these world class professional trainers know exactly what they are doing and why they are doing it? Do you really think that you are right and that they are all clueless or wrong? Puh-leeze.


Good grief. Have trouble taking criticism? I have trained a number of horses to GP. I still don't often use a flash. Maybe YOU need to get over YOURSELF?

mickeydoodle
Apr. 29, 2011, 11:23 PM
I agree with Eclectic. Looking at the websites of a lot of posters' on this thread including the OP. Horse at age 8 or 9 should be solid 3trd/4th knocking on PSG by all the "classical" and modern trainers. Flash or not.

betonbill
Apr. 29, 2011, 11:28 PM
My two go routinely in their flashes. I feel that there are times when the flash can offer just a squidge more control. If not, nobody is being injured or mal-used by wearing it. And they are definitely not tight. Sort of like carrying a crop even if you don't need to use it--but you might.

On the other hand, I can think of a couple of riders in the barn who are horrified at the idea of using one on their horses. In a couple of cases, and IMO only, a flash might help smooth out some of their problems with gaping mouths and evading the bit.

If you don't like them, don't use them. If you like them and use them, who knows, sometimes they can be very useful in some of those situations that pop up from time to time.

Sometimes even a fashion statement can come in handy.