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Figure eight bridles in dressage

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  • Figure eight bridles in dressage

    Since figure eight bridles are legal in dressage, I am just wondering why I never see anybody using one? I personally prefer a figure eight to a flash, and just found a really nice looking black one on the Horze site that I am thinking about ordering.
    Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
    The Blog

  • #2
    Honestly I have no idea, but my theory is that our fashion trends come from western europe - where I have never seen a figure 8 on a dressage horse.


    • #3
      If I put a figure eight on a horse for a show, I think I'd have handy a copy of the rule book that shows it's legal. Unfortunately, there are quite a few judges and TDs that believe that tack they don't see very often must be illegal.
      Donald Trump - proven liar, cheat, traitor and sexual predator! Hillary Clinton won in 2016, but we have all lost.


      • Original Poster

        I was just kind of curious, because I was under the impression that figure eights were kinder than flashes. Good idea about the rule thing, at the last dressage show I was at the steward was giving another rider grief about her treeless dressage saddle. I was able to pull the rules up on my phone and help defend the rider.
        Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
        The Blog


        • #5
          I wouldn't say that one is "kinder" than the other, but they address different issues.

          A Figure eight is more effective for crossing of the jaw
          A flash is more effective for hiding evading the bit by gaping the mouth.

          chaque pas est fait ensemble


          • #6
            A figure 8 noseband has been illustrated in the USEF Dressage rules for a very long time. I suspect most judges / TD's are aware of their legality.

            If it works for you then use it.


            • #7
              I had a big red mare with fleshy cheeks that went far better in a figure-8. Figured she hated the caveson pulling her cheeks into her teeth. Judges and stewards did not comment. I ended up showing her in a brown bridle as i couldn't find a black figure 8 at the time.

              Currently looking for a black cob sized figure-8 for new mare, but the only ones I saw on Horze had silver on them...would love to find a simple and solid black one.
              Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


              • #8
                Those flash things I detest, they never adjust quite right. A figure 8 gives me more options if I need them. I have shown in them, no issues with judges.
                Bethe Mounce
                Head Trainer, AmeriCan Romance Equestrian
                Brentwood CA


                • #9
                  I'm not a fan of flash nosebands at all. I use a drop on my horse, and if I need to, a figure 8 for jumping.

                  Passier makes a black figure 8, as does Bobby's English Tack, Nunn Finer, and Kieffer to name a few.


                  • #10
                    The Horze figure eight is very pretty, and you can't beat the price. I frequently rode dressage in a figure eight when I evented (although that's more common there) but it's also legal for traditional dressage, too.
                    Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.


                    • #11
                      You know, if you just read the bulletin boards, you'd get convinced nobody rides in flashes anymore.


                      • #12
                        I'm about to date myself. A looooong time ago, it was not unusual to see figure 8's. the dressage world went drop nosebands>figure 8's>flash>cranks>flash.

                        Judges and TD's are very familiar with them and they are still very common in the dressage tests at events.


                        • Original Poster

                          I am wanting to go to a figure eight because no matter how I adjust the flash it always comes off during our ride. I am not sure how my mare manages to Houdini herself out of it, but she does. I don't seem to have the same problem with figure eights. I love the Horze one.

                          Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
                          The Blog


                          • #14
                            They are more common to see with Eventers.
                            Redbud Ranch
                            Check us out on FB


                            • #15
                              My gelding goes in either a plain caveson or a figure 8. I've used both at dressage shows. This past weekend we competed and I'm pretty sure he was the only one going in a plain, everyone had flashes on their horses. My gelding goes really well in the figure 8, he just fusses in a flash.


                              • #16
                                Am I the only one who feels that the connection through the rein just feels better with a good, old-fashioned dropped noseband?
                                "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

                                Spay and neuter. Please.


                                • Original Poster

                                  Originally posted by Freespool86 View Post
                                  My gelding goes in either a plain caveson or a figure 8. I've used both at dressage shows. This past weekend we competed and I'm pretty sure he was the only one going in a plain, everyone had flashes on their horses. My gelding goes really well in the figure 8, he just fusses in a flash.
                                  I see that a lot too, and just like sheepskin half pads, sometimes I wonder if they are just doing it to make a fashion statement. I have owned two horses now that for sure needed one, a TB gelding that would stick his tongue out the side of his mouth and let it hang there for an entire ride, and my current mare who is constantly trying to get her tongue over the bit.
                                  Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
                                  The Blog


                                  • #18
                                    I had always thought that figure -8s were more popular with eventers, because they sit higher and are less restrictive of the horse's breathing, a priority on cross-country. So, if you don't run to multiple bridles, you'd end up using the figure-8 in the dressage phase as well.

                                    FWIW, I remember some years ago reading an article by Jeff Ashton-Moore about turnout for dressage where he noted his likes and dislikes. Figure-8s were among his dislikes for straight dressage, with his comment being that "it makes the horse's head look trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey." He also didn't like black gloves and over-large saddle pads. Just his opinion, but it does give a funny image.


                                    • #19
                                      Waitaminit, I LIKE my Thanksgiving turkey to be wearing black gloves!!

                                      Is there anyone any more who events with only one bridle??
                                      "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

                                      Spay and neuter. Please.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by monstrpony View Post
                                        Waitaminit, I LIKE my Thanksgiving turkey to be wearing black gloves!!

                                        Is there anyone any more who events with only one bridle??
                                        I wouldn't think so, but budgets are tightening all the time. Heck, I had three saddles and multiple bridles and nosebands, but that was in the 1971-1987 period when I was still eventing. If I started from scratch today, I'd probably only by one bridle, two nosebands LOL.

                                        As it is, I pretty much hang on to everything, so I now have at least five bridles, all with the same bit (!) on them, dressage show bridle, dressage everyday schooling bridle, trail riding bridle, old black show bridle from when I had a black saddle (hardly used), two toned black/tan bridle that matches my old Steubben Imperator..........(and, of course, the trunk is full of old bits, Dr. Bristol for my event horse's cross-country bridle(s), full cheek, loose ring french mouth, Dressage-legal Mylar (he hated that), two curbs from previous horse's double bridle, assorted bridoons....). I could open a tack store.