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  1. #21
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    Jul. 14, 2003
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    I'm with slc. Always a flash in a snaffle. Mouth and tongue issues in horses are much, much easier to prevent than to correct. Most of the time, a properly adjusted flash will prevent the problem.

    As for why mouth and tongue problems may occur; I certainly would not blame bad hands of the rider as the most common cause. Whenever horses are asked to do something new or hard, they will try to find a way to answer that is easier for them. Sometimes the response is what we would call an evasion, but it is probably not "intentional" in the human sense. Opening the mouth, or playing with the bit with the tongue, etc. is a normal response to new or hard work. Usually, it can be avoided by using a flash. So why not?
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller



  2. #22
    Join Date
    Aug. 15, 2006
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    Jefferson, OR
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    I don't even own a flash (can I have a trophy too?? What was that comment even about, anyway? ), and I primarily start young horses and bring them up to training level before selling them or giving them back to their owners. I typically use a plain eggbutt snaffle with a regular cavesson. Never had an issue.

    My pony doesn't even wear any type of noseband, simply because I am having such a hard time finding one that is big enough to go around her nose but still short enough to be adjusted properly after it goes around her head. She has a very short but chunky head.... I am thinking I will just find a cheapo one at my tack consignment store and punch holes in it... but she seems to go just fine sans noseband.



  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2007
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    where its cold
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    And I wish I had used a flash sooner. I had a very light mouthed homebred TB. And I didn't start him in flash. He went great UNTIL we started jumping and galloping. He learned, then, how easy it was to cross his jaw, and get very strong in the jaw and neck [he is a big, strong horse who LOVES to gallop]. And it crossed over into the dressage (started leaning down and getting strong).

    He now goes in a figure 8 in dressage and a leverage noseband for jumping. This way he can still go in a french link D. By preventing him from crossing the jaw and evading the bit, he is getting better and better in self carriage, balance, and "talking to" the bit. Had I started him in a flash and jumped him in a flash - he may never have learned this evasion in the first place. My young horse will go in a flash as soon as we start doing "real work". Hind sight can be 20/20.



  4. #24
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    Mar. 30, 2009
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    My OTQH goes in a flash (that has to be adjusted just right...not too tight and not too loose) and a loose ring KK ultra. This is the only combination he has seemed comfortable and happy in as shown by overall relaxation in his entire body and improved acceptance of the bit (not that he has been bad about that but allow me to explain)-

    Coming off the track originally he actually had very few issues, however a trainer worked with him for a while (before I owned him) that turned out to be disastrous. When I got him he would gape, cross his jaw and tighten up at the slightest touch from even the gentlest bit. I have very quiet hands (according to more than one person) and rode him very gently and he made improvements, but he would still get very tense and gape in certain situations (like the canter). I tried a variety of bits and such but nothing worked to help him be relaxed. I put a flash on not super tight (he can still chew easily) but not so loose that it sags or anything and he is quite happy. He seldom ever comes up against it, relizes he can still chew and such, and is far more relaxed and accepting. For jumping he uses a figure 8 since it interferes less around the nostril area and gives him a little more freedom whn properly adjusted. I am no expert but my trainer uses a flash on all her horses, though she is open to going without if it seems like a good idea. I think to say that all horses should or shouldn't go in a flash would be silly as each horse is an individual but it certainly seems to be a very harmless and usefull piece of equipment when used correctly (and that last part is important). I feel terrible when I see someone using a flash improperly whether improperly placed or so adjusted so tightly that the horse can't open its mouth.
    My blog:

    RAWR



  5. #25
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    Jan. 31, 2003
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    I am not really sure that flashes prevent evasions. There are all sorts of evasions that a horse can do w/it's mouth and the idea that the horse will feel the flash and stop.. I don't know.

    I use them remedially when a horse has indeed learned to gape his mouth wide open, for whatever reason, if I cannot convince him that his world is now different. If the horse is young and newly started I look for a bit that suits the horse better.

    I don't think I could just routinely use any tool, but that's probably more about me than anything else, I have to think things thru.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  6. #26
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    Jul. 19, 2001
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    I disagree with whomever said if it's a horse it needs a flash. NO.

    Some benefit from a flash and some don't don't benefit from a flash. Some need a flash sometimes but not other times. Like almost everything else with training a horse, it depends.

    You want the live connection. Sometimes a flash helps and sometimes it doesn't.

    At some point , if you are going to progress at all , there will be no flash.

    So for the person that thinks all horses are born needing a flash, do they use a flash with a double, too?



  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2003
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    MA
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    Quote Originally Posted by egontoast View Post
    I disagree with whomever said if it's a horse it needs a flash. NO.

    Conrad Schumacher. Obviously an idiot. The SRS always use a drop noseband with the snaffle which serves the same purposes. Also idiots.

    Some benefit from a flash and some don't don't benefit from a flash. Some need a flash sometimes but not other times. Like almost everything else with training a horse, it depends.

    The point is to use it in training so that you never need it.

    You want the live connection. Sometimes a flash helps and sometimes it doesn't.

    At some point , if you are going to progress at all , there will be no flash.

    I wonder how all the BNTs and ODGs overcame their flash handicap.

    So for the person that thinks all horses are born needing a flash, do they use a flash with a double, too?

    Horses should not be put in a double until they are well trained (at 3rd or 4th), and past any mouth or bitting issues.
    EH
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller



  8. #28
    Join Date
    Apr. 1, 2003
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    Cocoa, Fla
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    Flash or Crank used to help prevent them from opening mouth to evade action of the bit.

    It will help prevent the bit from being pulled though the mouth - but a "D" ring or eggbutt is better than loose ring/flash/crank option to prevent that.

    If the horse doesn't need it - great. My mare hates flash (it's think and I think she doesn't like the thin leather when she's being bad and I really tighten it down) - so she's better about the crank. But when she gets "cranky" I use both the flash and the crank and I tighten them down (usually when she's in season), otherwise I use them just not very tight - comfortably adjusted is what I call it.
    Sandy in Fla.



  9. #29
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    Jul. 19, 2001
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    Conrad Schumacher. Obviously an idiot. The SRS always use a drop noseband with the snaffle which serves the same purposes. Also idiots.
    Not sure what that is all about. I am sorry if you think these people are idiots.

    It appears I struck a nerve by offering an opinion that happened to be different from some other opinions.



  10. #30
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    Mar. 10, 2006
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    I always use it when I need to use it. Some horses don't need it, and many do. Once the horse learns to carry himself properly, it will become more comfortable and efficient to carry himself properly, and you will find a flash is no longer needed.



  11. #31
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    May. 12, 2008
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    I have never used a flash, drop or figure eight on a horse.


    I just do not see the need.

    As far as the Spanish Riding School is concerned - I looked them up and see some drop nosebands on the younger horses, none on any horses further along in training.

    That does not mean that every young horse needs a drop. That means this is the program at this particular school that only works with one breed of horses. It may be absolutely unnecessary for most of the horses and part of the program.

    This is similar to me always using a D-Ring with copper for my mare. Does she need it? Probably not, but I like D-Ring snaffles and the ones I had happened to have copper (either copper mouth or rollers). It is part of my 'program', but has no basis in fact or need.



  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by egontoast View Post
    Not sure what that is all about. I am sorry if you think these people are idiots.

    It appears I struck a nerve by offering an opinion that happened to be different from some other opinions.
    I was being sarcastic. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. But you are sadly mistaken if you think that all opinions are of equal value.
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller



  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajierene View Post
    I have never used a flash, drop or figure eight on a horse.

    I just do not see the need.

    How many horses have you trained to FEI? Perhaps your opinion would be different if it were based on more or different experience?

    As far as the Spanish Riding School is concerned - I looked them up and see some drop nosebands on the younger horses, none on any horses further along in training.

    Right. A drop noseband is not used with a double bridle, by the SRS or anyone else. It is illegal in competition.

    That does not mean that every young horse needs a drop. That means this is the program at this particular school that only works with one breed of horses. It may be absolutely unnecessary for most of the horses and part of the program.

    This is similar to me always using a D-Ring with copper for my mare. Does she need it? Probably not, but I like D-Ring snaffles and the ones I had happened to have copper (either copper mouth or rollers). It is part of my 'program', but has no basis in fact or need.
    No, it is not similar at all. You keep talking about NEEDING a flash or a drop noseband. The whole point of using one is so that you never NEED one. Get it?
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller



  14. #34
    Join Date
    Oct. 11, 2007
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    Andover, MA
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    I kind of wish my previous trainer had never put my mare in a flash, or used it only occasionally on an "as needed" basis (as mare's previous owner did). We've become more or less dependent on it, which precludes us doing some non-dressage things like local open shows, where the flash is not allowed. (Pet peeve of the day: jointed pelhams, twists, etc. are just fine in that world, and you could probably show up with a "bicycle chain" bit and it would be fine -- but only plain cavessons are allowed.) I am not 100% committed to staying with dressage because I simply cannot afford enough training and I am not that great a rider, and it's sad to have options closed to us.

    I've taken her out of the flash a few times and find that she doesn't listen very well. She'd probably love a Kimberwicke or Pelham but that would get the dressage purists screaming.

    I mostly feel guilty because when I bought her, I promised her breeders I would show her -- she is a lovely, high quality mare and would be a good "advertisement" for their program -- and one by one the options have gone away, usually my fault.



  15. #35
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    May. 12, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
    No, it is not similar at all. You keep talking about NEEDING a flash or a drop noseband. The whole point of using one is so that you never NEED one. Get it?
    No, I don't get it. That is circular logic to me. I do not see the point in doing anything more than the basic for the horse unless it is needed. To me, anything other than a plain cavesson is only to be used in rare occasions and very temporary - similar to the martingale, draw reins and anything else more than a snaffle bit, plain bridle and saddle.

    And..um...my opinion may be different if I trained a horse to FEI reining and only FEI reining. It may be different if I trained horses to Grand Prix jumping or four star eventing, or racing, etc. It may not.

    It still remains my opinion and while my training background has a lot to do with how I derived my opinions, it is not relevant to this discussion, especially not when asked in such a way to imply that if I had never trained a horse to FEI levels of dressage, then my opinion is not valid. My opinion, along with yours and everyone else who post to this bulletin board.

    I tell you what, I will give my resume if you give your resume first.



  16. #36
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    Jul. 19, 2001
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    The whole point of using one is so that you never NEED one. Get it?
    You really have a hang up about noseband choices, don't you? It's obviously very important that everyone agree with you or you'll smack them upside the haid. Was there a traumatic childhood cavesson related mishap?



    Everyone is entitled to an opinion. But you are sadly mistaken if you think that all opinions are of equal value.
    Shall we run our personal opinions by you first before posting them on the board? This will have to do for aghasted rolly eyes:

    heck, do whatever you want, ffs. It ain't exactly a life and death type thing.



  17. #37

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    Question: If your horse doesn't need it, then what's the harm in having it on him?

    Which is more severe? A crank, dropped, or a flash?

    All this tack exists because there are all sorts of different horses with different histories and different training programs.

    As far as the original question goes, if the bit is sliding or your finding your horse gapping its mouth (and you know the bit fits fine), give the flash a try. You can always take it off.
    HorseStableReview.com - Tell others what you know! Post your barn or review today.



  18. #38
    Join Date
    Oct. 16, 2008
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    Central Oklahoma
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    Quote Originally Posted by horsestablereview View Post
    Question: If your horse doesn't need it, then what's the harm in having it on him?

    Which is more severe? A crank, dropped, or a flash?

    All this tack exists because there are all sorts of different horses with different histories and different training programs.

    As far as the original question goes, if the bit is sliding or your finding your horse gapping its mouth (and you know the bit fits fine), give the flash a try. You can always take it off.
    Here is what I think.

    Drop has its place and can be useful at times. Unfortunately horses heads look bad in one.

    Flash is a poor attempt to combine regular cavesson and a drop, trying to accomplish what a drop can do without making horse heads looking weird. Unfortunately because of its design, it is mechanically unsound and is more trouble than it's worth.

    Crank is designed to be able to crank the horse' mouth shut by using the pulling system. And because of the pulling system, riders tend to over tighten the crank without realizing it. Sure you don't need to crank it tight but what is the point of crank if you have it loose?



  19. #39
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    Jul. 19, 2001
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    If your horse doesn't need it, then what's the harm in having it on him?
    i don't think it's harmful. I just think it's not effective for all horses and is even GASP counter productive for some horses.

    and no, don't think everyone with a different experience or opinion is an "idiot" either, despite what some very excitable poster claimed up above..



  20. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by egontoast View Post
    I just think it's not effective for all horses and is even GASP counter productive for some horses.
    Just curious, can you explain a situation in which it would be counterproductive?
    HorseStableReview.com - Tell others what you know! Post your barn or review today.



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