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Gone Noseband-less...

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  • Gone Noseband-less...

    I recently decided that the mare and I are done with competitive dressage, and we'll noodle around until it's time for her to be retired and/or I buy another horse. (And, sadly, until my father passes on, because his needs mean that I am too short of money and time for "serious" showing.) She is not 100% sound, nor am I, and I need for my horse activities to be FUN and my horse to be HAPPY above all right now.

    So... I've run across the "ditch the noseband" idea in various circles (e.g. "French School" thread here, the huge flame-fest on FHOTD when Mugwump was running it) ... and knowing that the mare is fussy, I pulled the noseband off her bridle last week, and she's been *awesome*. If we're not showing, it doesn't matter whether she wears a noseband or not. She's softer (and has a super-soft mouth to start with), she's not trying to get her tongue over the bit or opening her mouth or running away with me, all things I feared would happen. In fact, she accepts the bit better now!
    Last edited by quietann; Nov. 29, 2012, 04:40 PM. Reason: moved question to Western forum
    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

    1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

  • #2
    I'm glad it is working for both of you! I haven't gone without a noseband, but my mare who is semi-retired (trailrides now) has gone without a flash since I stopped doing dressage with her and I keep her noseband quite loose. She's happy, too. She was fine before, though, as well.

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    • #3
      I ride without one.... my guy is much happier too. Wear a Micklem for competitions.
      Fillys By Vibank - 2017 Road to RRP
      https://www.youtube.com/user/jealoushe

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't go without them because I like the look, but mine are so loose I don't bother to unbuckle them ever. It's literally only there for looks. My horse isn't a fan of a tight noseband. I think they're often used as a bandaid and rarely ever use a snug one.

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by candysgirl View Post
          I don't go without them because I like the look, but mine are so loose I don't bother to unbuckle them ever. It's literally only there for looks. My horse isn't a fan of a tight noseband. I think they're often used as a bandaid and rarely ever use a snug one.
          That's the thing that is so weird... I am not a great rider, my hands can be very unsteady, and maybe to some degree I thought using a flash would compensate... but the mare tolerates my hands so much better when her face feels more "open" to her... She is a bit claustrophobic so perhaps that is it?

          With her very Arab-y head and "teacup" muzzle, the noseband-less look suits her face very well.
          You have to have experiences to gain experience.

          1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

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          • #6
            I took my flash noseband off my bridle a few months ago. Horse was always fussy with his mouth, initially I was going to take off the drop part, but then I noticed something - he has quite fleshy cheeks, so the cavesson part was squeezing his cheeks into his teeth *ouch* so I took the whole noseband off, and he's being going happily without it since!

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            • #7
              "Noseband," if you must use one, need not equate with "tight." Back in my hunter days in the 70's, it was considered properly adjusted when it was loose enough to slip 4 fingers in between the bottom of the noseband and his jaw.

              "Tight" seems to have shown up about when "compression" did--hence the resistances.

              As some risque' ad said 'way back then:

              "Take eet off. Take eet ALL offffff . . .!"

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              • #8
                Me too! I had gotten away from the flash years ago and only put the cavesson on because it looks nice. So unless I am going somewhere I have a little less tack to clean!

                My horses have not had any issues.

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                • #9
                  A stunned teenager bridled my horse the other day, stunned because the cavesson portion was so loose, and the drop nose band was off. Another one to educate. !!
                  Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                  Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
                    "Noseband," if you must use one, need not equate with "tight." Back in my hunter days in the 70's, it was considered properly adjusted when it was loose enough to slip 4 fingers in between the bottom of the noseband and his jaw.

                    "Tight" seems to have shown up about when "compression" did--hence the resistances.

                    As some risque' ad said 'way back then:

                    "Take eet off. Take eet ALL offffff . . .!"

                    eep! Someone at my barn came to the indoor while I was riding last night, and she said when she first looked at us (head on) she thought I was riding with no bridle at all! Um, no, I am not the person to do that (Mare has a very long, thick forelock so the browband was completely obscured.)

                    I am old enough to remember the loose noseband days, too. When I was a teen taking lessons, we never even undid the nosebands when taking the bridle off or putting it on. They were that loose!
                    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                    1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Mine still are!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        the only time I use a noseband has been in the few dressage shows I've gone to, and then I've had it as loose as I could manage. Otherwise, I don't want any sort of confinement on my mount's jaws.

                        And, you can count me among those who really detest the [expletive deleted] flash nosebands that seem to have become de rigeur over the past several years. I get the strong feeling that in 99% of the cases, the people using them have no clue why, except that it has become the fashion. UGH.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I took nosebands off earlier this year when we started riding in western saddles, and both horses seem perfectly fine and happy. One is a retired schoolmaster, the other is an old broodmare with little formal training. From a tacking up standpoint, it's one less thing for my SO to worry about, which is nice.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Well as I ride a mare who is mostly novice despite being 11 ( broodmare) finding the right bit was a bit of a struggle we navigated between thick eggbutt and loose ring double jointed for a while ending up with the loose ring. I added a drop ( very very loose - too the point everyone at the barn even my very expert dressage trainer this summer laughed ) my reasonning: it kept the head toss to a minimum as it kept the bit more still in her mounth.
                            Jump to last week as we have been doing less of the formal stuff as the boring indoor hall time is upon us and I removed the drop as I was lunging ( also fooling around to see if I could get her to jump). I did not put it back on the next ride and wow !! She comes down on the hand not even and not always but alot more steadily... and the nose band is there but much looser than the 2 fingers I was thought when I was a beginner. I will keep it on though as I am the weird one at the barn as it is, I like to look semi normal.
                            OP thanks for the post and happy that we have found a new way without looking for it...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JeanM View Post
                              the only time I use a noseband has been in the few dressage shows I've gone to, and then I've had it as loose as I could manage. Otherwise, I don't want any sort of confinement on my mount's jaws.

                              And, you can count me among those who really detest the [expletive deleted] flash nosebands that seem to have become de rigeur over the past several years. I get the strong feeling that in 99% of the cases, the people using them have no clue why, except that it has become the fashion. UGH.
                              THIS. There are multiple reasons - none of them truly good - for the popularity of the flash noseband. Some riders see what's on display at tack shops and what other riders are using at shows, and decide that this is what they want - they don't know what it does or whether it does anything good, but they put it on their "must-have" tack wishlist. Some riders go - in all innocence - to purchase a bridle and simply don't realize that they have options; that any reputable manufacturer will happily put together the bridle the customer wants even if it has a horse-sized crownpiece, an oversized browband, cob-sized cheekpieces, and the noseband and reins of the customer's choice - including a French cavesson and a pair of wide, extra-long web reins with leather stops (obviously YMMV, but I happen to own a bridle exactly like this). And then there are the riders who are thoughtful, who experiment, who find that their horses go much better with no cavesson or with a simple French cavesson... but then sigh and order a bridle with a flash because they believe that it's required for dressage. I wish I had a dollar for each rider who has asked me, at clinics or by e-mail or snail-mail, "Why are flash nosebands required for dressage?"

                              Fortunately many flash attachments can be removed easily and quickly if you have a steady hand and a small Exacto knife.

                              The only problem I've encountered due to schooling without any cavesson and showing WITH one, back in my showing days, was that after a number of months of outdoor work in a bridle without a cavesson, the cavesson and the rest of the bridle didn't quite match anymore due to a bit of sun-fading. I solved that by hanging the cavesson on a post whenever I was schooling outdoors: equal fading and no more colour mismatch!

                              As for the "reason" for a flash, it was invented for a purpose and named after the specific horse involved (yup, "Flash"). He was a jumper, not a dressage horse, and the purpose of this new cavesson was twofold: It allowed the rider to use the drop portion to keep the horse's mouth closed, whilst the upper, "regular" cavesson portion provided an anchor point for a standing martingale.

                              I've always found that most horses used for dressage will typically go better without a cavesson or with a very loose one, probably because a tight cavesson makes it impossible for a horse to allow its lower jaw to slide... which is precisely what it must do if it's going to be able to flex at the poll (instead of, say, four vertebrae back). So when we ask a horse to go on the bit and flex at the poll, whilst simultaneously (by using a tight cavesson of ANY sort) making it impossible for the horse to comply, we're being horribly unfair to the horse... and also creating a compelling reason for the horse to dislike dressage. THAT is tragic, because horses should LOVE dressage.
                              Home page: www.jessicajahiel.com
                              Horse-Sense newsletter: www.horse-sense.org

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I don't show my horse, just play around and school at home. Many years ago I removed his noseband and now I ride in a sidepull (no bit). He's going so much better than he ever has in his long life and I'll never go back to a bit.

                                Bitless isn't an option for everyone but give it a try once in a while.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I don't show my horse, just play around and school at home. Many years ago I removed his noseband and now I ride in a sidepull (no bit). He's going so much better than he ever has in his long life and I'll never go back to a bit.

                                  Bitless isn't an option for everyone but give it a try once in a while.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Look here!http://www.williammicklem.com/multib...insideout.html
                                    MORE COMFORTABLE, MORE HUMANE, MORE EFFECTIVE!
                                    The Rambo® Micklem Multibridle is the first bridle or cavesson that is designed from the inside out, from the shape of the skull itself, instead of just from the outward appearance of the head. (Figure 1) In particular it avoids any pressure on the fa-cial nerves, the projec-ting cheek bones or the upper jaw molar teeth.
                                    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

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I show a horse that can't stand a noseband. Even putting it on she will sit back or shake her head. So, I school all the time without one. For a show, it goes on extremely loose so it is not even touching her and she puts up with it.
                                      Who say's your best friend has to be human?

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I ride all my horses without one..there's no way to know the problem unless you allow the problem to come up. I've found the face problems dissipate rather quick without a noseband, and the problems are also relatively easy to fix.

                                        Perhaps horses enjoy it more because yes, they have the option to actually open their mouth when their *mouth hurts*. An jerk when a horse spooks, you run into a tree while trail riding, who-know-what, all hurt their mouth, and perhaps with the release of having their mouth clamped shut releases all that tension and worry.

                                        And Arab faces are sooo much prettier without a noseband....

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