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Why do you use a flash?

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  • #41
    Originally posted by Carol O View Post
    I use a flash because it is part of the uniform in a very conventional sport. I now explain that it is convention in my sport, and then I invite the critic to come and see how tight it isn't.

    When I started in this sport the drop was in fashion, and I still prefer them.


    It's "uniform" in a very conventional sport? No, not uniform. Fashion? No, not that either. It is there for a reason, and not all horses have a reason for a flash. Bridles can be purchased with or without a flash.

    Whatever happened to using what works best for the horse? We choose bits based on this same principle = whatever makes a horse happy and go best in (yes if we are competing, we have restrictions and bit rules to follow).

    I tailor my bridles to each horse's needs and don't give in to fashion du jour. I prefer padded/crank cavesson's over unpadded any day - for the horse's comfort. None of my bridles currently have flashes on them, but if one of my horses woke up one day and went better with a flash, then I'd consider using one.

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    • #42
      various combinations are possible

      bridle can be used for dressage and/ jumping with a drop; Eqitators use it to be able to add a standing to a drop
      breeder of Mercury!

      remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans

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      • #43
        I went months refusing to put a flash on my guy, I disliked them. And then, as he got fitter he started getting strong. We would have 15-20 minutes of nice soft work, 10 minutes of hyperflexion leaning pulling hell, then the remainder of the ride would be, by far, our best work. It would have been hard to time this out to show a test

        I've known the horse his entire life, it was never a disobedience issue. It was a thoroughbred, high energy, too eager to please, not the sharpest knife in the drawer issue.

        Trainer advised to add the flash and knowing that he raced in a flash, we threw one on and it did the trick for him. Crutch, maybe. I'll take it. I did order a figure eight to try as I prefer them to the flash. They're legal no matter how passe we look I joked with getting a dropped noseband to try to bring that back, but goodess, nothing ever had a pretty enough head to pull that off

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        • #44
          I don't use a flash either. My horses have never tried putting their tongues over the bit, nor do they try to evade the bit by opening their mouths and crossing their jaws. I've heard that some horses do this, and a drop or a flash can help prevent it.
          I took the flash off my bridle but eventually I just purchased a new (flash-less) cavesson from Jerry's Harness Shop. They make lovely bridles, and custom design them to your needs, so if you wanted one without a flash (or a crank for that matter) I can highly recommend them.

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          • #45
            I don't use a flash simply because I don't feel like it makes a difference. Some horses like to open their mouths but I don't think that's an issue. If you want one for collection/contact or for your horse to slow down, don't get one. It's either going to make your horse super sensitive or make them want to fight you on slowing down or collecting because they feel they have no way out.

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            • #46
              One should use "equipment" BECAUSE you need it. I have never found a need for a flash.
              ... _. ._ .._. .._

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              • #47
                Originally posted by Salar View Post
                Wow, if the flash is as important as some here think (support the jaw etc.), someone better run over to the Hunter ring and tell these guys what they are doing wrong!!!

                I too hard a difficult time finding a dressage bridle without one so had to have the flash removed and noseband restitched.

                Me thinks this is an "in vogue" trend....
                Hunter riders don't ride the same as a dressage rider, generally. Most of the folks I am around (low-level stuff) are hardly in contact...losts of loose reins out there, maybe I am missing something.
                “My horses are my friends, not my slaves” — Reiner Klimke

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                • #48
                  I attach the flash to my saddle as an "Oh Sh*t" handle. 😁

                  I've shown through 3rd without a flash with no issues.

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                  • #49
                    I have only one use for a flash strap.

                    Cut shorter they make wonderful LONGER bit straps for my Micklem bridle, much longer than the available Micklem bit straps.

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                    • #50
                      I'll be an odd man out to say that my horse actually went better with a flash. The reason being that he liked loose rings, but my hands weren't quite steady enough to keep the bit steady, so my trainer suggested using a flash to steady the bit.

                      It's worth pointing out that the flash was never very tight, just enough to do the job that we wanted.

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                      • #51
                        I am currently using a flash on my horse because he seems to go better in this bit with it. I have tried a number of bits, cavessons and strategies. In loose rings he mouthed the bit excessively in all the mouthpieces I tried. An eggbutt regular snaffle was better but he seemed less happy - not as responsive. The double jointed snaffle with the bean worked better. But he still could get fussy and move the bit around a lot, even when longeing. So I added the flash. After a little experimentation we found where he wanted the bit and the snug cavesson and flash keep it there. For now that is how we usually ride and he is going well. He still takes his sugar fully bridled and isnt straining against it so it seems to be working for us. At least for now!

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                        • #52
                          Originally posted by ideayoda View Post
                          There is nothing the OP is missing, it is well thought out and quite accurate.

                          Ok, lets start with why a caveson is on a bridle. Military riders used them to tie. Dressage riders initially rode in a lunge caveson, and it was used for lateral flexibility (no snaffle), and curb came for later nuance.

                          Fast forward (1700s), when progressive training came in a snaffle (fulmer). And a dropped was added only to prevent possible crossing of the jaw with horses being progressively trained ifv. And thus it continued until the late 60s when (german) auction horses were sold out of the country. Viewers didn't understand drops, so the 'cross between' was the flash. And they became 'in style'. Just as copying square saddle pad (sheer use was to keep tailcoat dry...now EVERYONE uses them even hunter riders LOL) or unbraided forelocks (one winning stallion who did not allow handling there).

                          From riding in both, there is simply no reason for one. If the horse is ridden progressively (up/open/ifv/with a mobile jaw) there is little reason for the horse to open the mouth. And if the horse starts to have mouth issues it is INFORMATION. If the horse has mouth or tongue issues it is often because the horse is steadily at (or more) vertical and the bars are exposed to the effects of the hand, rather ifv with pressures on the corners of the mouth. Horses 'evade' pain, and riders should ask different with their aids rather than strap the mouths shut.

                          What should stabilize the bit? That it is high enough (a wrinkle or two in the corner of the lips) and steady riding 'in position'.

                          What does the lower jaw need supporting? A half halt should not work against it, but on the corners of the mouth. The jaw should be mobile/allow for chewing and swallowing. It should be neither clamped shut nor hanging flaccidly, errors in either are information to the rider about the texture of their aids, and the horse's balance. Horses only clamp their jaws to evade pain. The rider should be holding both sides of the bit evenly, so it will not slide to one side or another, and in a fulmer or full check it cannot do so.

                          The way the rules were changed is somewhat of a joke, since the fingers now go in the side (where the bones are) which can allow the fingers even if fairly tight. The fingers should go under the jaw. But interestingly enough even with those things many horses in curbs now show open mouths or bitten/bloody tongues because now they are attempting to chew in their closed postures.
                          Thank you, thank you for this thoughtful reply. This was also my understanding as well. If memory serves, the idea that the flash "stabilizes the bit" has been debunked. Some horses do need them to prevent crossing the jaws. . .but
                          for the most part, I think flashes have become a trend. . . everyone uses them because. . . everyone uses them.
                          I do not use them. When I first started dressage lessons - oh - 20 years ago or so - - - I had one on my bridle.
                          After a few years, took it off. I've never needed to put it back on with any of my horses.

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                          • #53
                            I don't know why this zombie thread popped up, but I don't think I had comments on my young horse last time it was around. She and her siblings are all teeth grinders. So is her just two year old daughter if she doesn't get something she wants. Because of that tendency toward tight in their jaw, they don't wear a flash which if anything would encourage it more. I think earlier in the thread I mentioned my two who have flashes because otherwise when they are on a loose rein they chomp and act displeased - but don't want the bit adjusted higher in their mouths. On correct contact they don't have the same issues because contact stabilizes the bit, but the loose rein chomping drives me bonkers. Their flashes are loose enough to take off without unbuckling, so not holding anything shut.
                            If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.
                            -meupatdoes

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