I was in the "always a flash" camp but I recently bought a padded crank cavesson noseband with no flash on extreme sale. Didn't think I needed it but it was on sale right? lol
Anyway, tried it on Mr. Inwardly Sensitive (not cranked tight). Was very surprised, we had a much more correct contact, he was far less likely to get behind the bit (his favourite evasion).
I have so far only ridden in it once and need to do it a few more times to convince myself that it is the cavesson that is making the difference. Maybe it is the padding and not the flash that is making the difference but clearly I did not need the flash.
Wow, five pages! Well I'm going to stick with my snaffle for now but it was interesting reading. My horse was just started and I was trying out a trainer who suggested the flash first thing. My horse isn't even that fond of the noseband so I imagine he would be even less happy in a flash, not to mention the teeth rubbing the cheek thing. To whoever mentioned trying to buy a dressage bridle without one, how true that is!
Does he have pink skin on the lips? is he chestnut? Some horses just have thin, sensitive skin.
It's important to keep flashes, drops and Figure 8's clean and the leather pliable. Dirty tack with crusted bits of feed & dried slobber increases the chance for a rub.
I'm a clean tack Nazi.
execellent point - also just becuase it fits one horse doesnt mean the same bridle will fit another horse - so it sound like you didnt alter the bridle to fit the second horse also if the bit is dirty then that can do it to
i personally dont shared a bridle with another horse - lets put it in simple terms would one share there underwear- nope
my horses have and even new horses in or out have there own tack ie bridle and saddle and any other equipment they might need as in rugs and numnahs girths and brushes right down to a hoof pick, from bowls to boots each hrose has its own equipement thats the way i was brought up you dont share horse to horse as the tiniest ill fitment can cause harm
I had taken all my flash atts off all bridles and never have ridden any of myhorses in a flash and now have a mare with a very busy head. In side reins or being ridden.
Two different trainers told me to put a flash on her. The second one told me exactly how to fit it.
Guess what...head is very steady and quiet now. She is a bear to bridle and also tries to wipe the flash off at the walk reaching her head down and raising her leg up. I am still able to give her a treat with it on so its not really tight.
I am sure I will remove it in time when she is further along in her training but for now, she is going better than she ever has and using a flash really made her turn a corner in her training.
Also regarding the fitting of bridles, especially nosebands. I've noticed just about everyone I know has either an ill-fitting noseband (not the right size/configuration for the horse) or it's badly adjusted.
The cavesson needs to sit just below the cheekbones of the horse. I see cavessons all the time that are an inch or two below the cheekbones. If they're that low, there's a good chance of pinching your horse's lip between bit and cavesson. A cheap, flimsy cavesson will stretch and deform, especially with a flash attached. This affects the usefulness of the whole shebang.
No matter what you're using, buy sturdy, good quality stuff.
Thanks guys, he's not sensitive at all, tough little buckskin pony as a matter of fact. The bridle has holes punched to fit him, I adjust it each time I switch horses. He does have his own bridle, which I'll switch back to, my mare has a dressage bit and a jumping bit and I utilized his hunt bridle as her jumping one, etc. Anyway, I'll put everyone back in their own tack and hopefully solve the problem! I'd say the quality of it is "so so" it's a collegiate.
Thanks again, this has been a very educational thread!
I am a tack minimalist when possible. My Cleveland Bay cross, IDSH, and TB mare go in plain cavessons and snaffles. My Appendix mare goes in a figure 8 because she just seems to accept the contact better, fuss less, and go more quietly when her tack sets some limits.
The figure 8 seems more comfortable to me than a drop or flash, and since I do both dressage and eventing, I prefer to stick to it rather than a flash. I don't think they can breath as well at the gallop in a flash, but that has no basis in anything other than a possibly wildly inaccurate gut feeling.