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nosebands and tightness

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  • #41
    And further more ... I have been into a bottle of wine .... the only reason for a noseband is to keep from pulling the bit through the horse's mouth in case of a bolt or spook, or to keep the horse from opening his jaw and clamping down on the bit and running (bolting) off with the rider.

    Any other reason says the rider lacks finesse and needs to work on the seat. So, back to working on the seat unril the rider has a solid foundation where the hands can work independently of the mouth and don't create pain.


    • #42
      If the horse wants to cross his jaw then the rider needs to keep working on their seat first, and then develop the hands with "sympathy", or at least follow the horse's mouth and not try to force the horse.


      • #43


        • #44
          I have had rooting problems with my horse (who is green, and nowhere near 2nd level) and after an unmounted clinic with someone where we worked on softness of the hands, I realized it was because my hands were not moving with my horse. As I was focusing on *contact*, I lost my focus on a *following feel* so his rooting was communicating to me that something wasn't right with my hands. Once I focused instead on following the natural movement of his head/neck (appropriate to gait, of course), the rooting diminished.

          I don't like tight nosebands. Actually, I took the noseband off my bridle and dropped the bit one hole and noticed that it allows for better communication between us. He can more clearly tell me if something is wrong (vs. cranking down on a noseband that just makes him close his mouth and be tense even if he's "technically" in the bridle) and I can more clearly get the message.

          I also have tried a few bits - KK Ultra, Myler comfort snaffle with roller and another Myler comfort snaffle - but honestly never tried a plain single-jointed snaffle. I had to go buy one because I only have double-jointed snaffles! The new bit makes a difference in his responsiveness and he's not as fussy with it.

          If he roots, do you ever clock him in the teeth and jerk your hands up in response to him jerking his head down? It is a very rude behavior and I've seen people address it in such a manner.
          "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran


          • #45
            My horse's trainer rides with a slightly tighter nose/flash that I would like and my horse LOVES her riding. I bought some KK ultra aurigan, two-jointed-with-a-curve bit that we use for everything (arena, trail, jumping ...) When things aren't going well for us, it's always been a problem with my seat/hand (lack of) coordination.



            • #46
              For what it's worth, I had a horse who HATED the curved-mouthpiece french snaffles (like the JP). He wanted those (french link) bits straight across. Took a while to discover this. He also did not like loose rings - the eggbutt was much better.
              His expression of dislike did not take the form of a naughty mouth, but rather lots of other resistances.
              Just saying that trying other bits might make a difference, no matter how soft the bit you are using now is.


              • #47
                It isn't always the rider.

                Do a thorough oral exam. The bit might be doing this .

                This damage was not visible from the outside. You can see how far I had to peel back her lips to see it. This is relatively minor. Sometimes she blistered. Never to the point of bleeding or any indication that this was there. I started her as a 4 y.o. and rode her bitless for awhile then with very light contact. She was so immature physically, we didn't start serious dressage work until she was into her 5 y.o. year. When I finailly found this damage, we had had the 6 months from hell. Ya' think? Poor horse was heavy, mouthy, and extremely tense. She went the same for my instructor who I can assure you is a far better rider than I am. In this case, it was not the rider but the conformation of her mouth does not allow me to use a jointed bit on her. Double jointed are worse than single. Fat worse than thin. Curved, straight...it doesn't matter...they all cause this. She has sheets of pudgy flesh inside her rather refined head. I'm not exactly sure what is pinching. I just know that a jointed bit causes these sore/blister whether ridden or lunged.

                I finally found a mullen mouth that is legal and that she tolerates. She was pretty picky about those too as she does not like tongue pressure. I looked for a bit and spent a fortune trying the next best thing for each trial. I finally found a funky mullen mouth (PeeWee bit) that was not legal. However, putting that bit on her gave me a totally different horse. It was like someone turned the relaxation switch on. Such a relief for both of us but especially her. She still can get mouthy and worried about bit pressure but overall she is much better and now sore free.



                • #48
                  OP- it can be frustrating for sure posting things on the internet as everyone assumes the moral high ground. I am going to assume that you are the competent rider yuo say you are. There are still 2 things to look into closely which have already been mention.
                  1) allgergies- can cause horrible rooting with very few otrher 'symptoms' . So even if this is year round maybe test it with an antihistamine and see if you get any improvement.

                  2)Bits, you say you've tried all sorts but honestly the bit can be all the difference (regardless of everyone screaming 'a bad workman blames his tools'!!). The idea that a sweet iron snaffle suits every horse is insane, put sweet iron in my horses mouth and he'll about kill you. He HATES it. Went from a sweet guy who would stand and take the bit to a horse winging his head around. But you may want to experiment with non FEI legal bits, maybe something with a port and narrower.

                  Also this idea that horses should work with no nosebands and nosebands are the devil is kinda funny saying that ODG's will tell you that without one there is no way to have the horse truly working on the bit and its way to unstable. Not advocating the idea of cranking them down. 2 finger gap is the rule as it works.

                  Guess all I'm saying is don't rule out something as obvious as a bit change as there are so many and you may not have found the right one yet.

                  Good luck!
                  I have horse to sell to you. Horse good for riding. Can pull cart. Horse good size. Eats carrots and apples. Likes attention. Move head to music. No like opera! You like you buy.


                  • #49
                    OP, I think a pretty clear message is being sent here: Don't pick horses with fussy/unusually conformed mouths. Unless he's a star it's just not worth the hassle.


                    • #50
                      Originally posted by TickleFight View Post
                      OP, I think a pretty clear message is being sent here: Don't pick horses with fussy/unusually conformed mouths. Unless he's a star it's just not worth the hassle.
                      I'm not sure if you're serious or this is intended as sarcasm... either way, I think you're the only one who's suggested this "message". When you have an affinity with a particular horse, overcoming obstacles like this is always "worth the hassle". Or should our standard response as trainers be to sell 'em up and move 'em on??
                      Proud COTH lurker since 2001.


                      • #51
                        Originally posted by Lost_at_C View Post
                        I'm not sure if you're serious or this is intended as sarcasm... either way, I think you're the only one who's suggested this "message". When you have an affinity with a particular horse, overcoming obstacles like this is always "worth the hassle". Or should our standard response as trainers be to sell 'em up and move 'em on??
                        No. When I horse shop I specifically avoid anything with a small mouth or fussy bit issues. Nobody is telling anybody to sell their beloved horse, but it's something to keep in mind next time you're shopping.

                        Really, however, it's all a matter of priorities. It's a lot easier to move up the levels on something with a friendly mouth, and if you're ambitious... a mouth that's big enough for a double. If that isn't your priority, or if you don't care, then that's cool too. However, given the number of threads started about bit issues I'd say it's a lesson probably worth learning before you plunk several grand down on a horse.

                        But as I said before, it's often the rider anyway.
                        Last edited by TickleFight; May. 11, 2013, 02:54 PM.


                        • #52
                          Although a bit blunt, Ticklefight is right.

                          Thing is with my mare, I bought her as a youngster before she was broke. Her head/mouth doesn't look "small" although she is a "smaller" breed (15.2 Andalusian/QH). It fits her. I have never had a horse that had that kind of flab on the inside of her mouth that she does. But, yes, if I was going to buy another horse I would add that to the list of things to check.

                          I could certainly have saved lots of money buying bits and about a year and a half of training if I had known about such a thing. In my 40 years with horses, I haven't seen or had issues with a horses' mouth like this one. But yeah, at this point she is a keeper. She is what she is and I deal with it.



                          • #53
                            After more than four decades of working with TBs, WBs and TB/QH crosses I had (have) a collection of bits for what I thought was every conceivable issue.

                            Then I bought a Section D Welsh Cob

                            I did put together a bridle that at least fit him and I started with a Stubben French Link snaffle because that was the closest thing I had to a KK Ultra snaffle, which is what he had been going in at the time of the purchase. I didn't want to buy another bit until I got an idea of how he went. As soon as I put the bridle on he turned his head away from me, and he just stood there with his head bent all the way around to the outside. I hadn't even gotten on him. He looked miserable, so I took the bridle back off.

                            My first actual ride on him was in a bosal. He had no clue what that was and he really just blew right through it which I expected. I had done some ground work with him in it, but he was such a mess, I just said who cares and I got on him bareback with the bosal and went for it.

                            I had no real control other than I was at least smart enough to do this in his paddock. Our first trot consisted of me grabbing mane and bumping him forward. Glad I had a handle on his mane because I got the full blown "in flight" Cob trot

                            He knew what the voice command for whoa was, but he really did not know how to transition downward. So eight strides later we finally came to rest. I was thrilled to still be on him and he was stunned that I had not caused him any pain.

                            I spent the next year fitting him properly. The most time consuming part was ordering bridle parts so that everything matched. I had to order all of my 60" reins. He fussed consistently when I used 54" reins which is now the American industry standard. I think that is a big problem (reins not long enough, seriously) for many riders and they don't even realize it.

                            Now the bits ... well, I spent more $$ on this pony than I ever had to spend on a horse


                            ETA: I do have a snaffle set up for him and I use my drop noseband, but I keep it extremely loose ... the only thing it will help with is keeping me from pulling the bit through his mouth if I ever to have to pull him around.

                            The pony has been well worth it.
                            Last edited by BaroquePony; May. 12, 2013, 08:16 AM.


                            • #54
                              Kyrabee, we found the same thing in my Lip mare's mouth, way inside, when the dentist came two weeks ago. Although we had NO CLUE that was going on - in fact, she was going better than ever the last few weeks! She has VERY fleshy lips, and she had a point on a tooth....now filed down, of course, but we were all aghast at the blood blister/sore. It's gone now, but we will be paying lots of attention to bit fit as she matures in age (she is 6) and training.


                              • #55
                                Quite amazing what some horses can tolerate. One horse was wadding her hay so when the vet examined her he found a molar had fractured and the split piece of tooth had got wedged facing her cheek - it looked like hamburger. She had been training fine and it was the wadding that had made us call the vet.
                                Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


                                • #56
                                  Originally posted by Velvet View Post
                                  A different bit, for a while even if it's not legal but makes the horse happy is worth it to work toward a solution. It might even mean a custom bit that merges legal with what he likes best. A lot of horses like bits that are no longer legal. I have a horse with a big tongue and low palate that lives a Dr Bristol, which is now illegal. It loathes KK and even Happy Mouth bits that other horses love.
                                  I think I own the same horse I also have a gelding with a big fleshy tongue and low palate who goes poorly in every French link, single jointed snaffle, KK, and Happy Mouth I have tried him in. Goes very nicely in a Dr. B with a really wide center link.
                                  There are Myler bits with a low port that I think might work for him that are legal, and I'm going to give one of them a try. I spoke to the folks at Myler and they said that they have a new low port bit coming out in the fall that they thought would work really well. Too bad it isn't available now.
                                  As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.


                                  • #57
                                    Originally posted by ideayoda View Post
                                    So, again asking: are you doing any work in hand to specifically educate self carriage/jaw mobilization/asking fdo w/o rooting? And then take that to ridden work? What about specific lateral work?
                                    This. If he does it standing still (you call him a "butthead"), why then, would he not display the same behavior whenever he likes. Does he lead lightly and easily in a halter, or does he root there too? If so, sounds to me like this buggar has evasion, using his head, pretty much figured out.
                                    www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
                                    "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
                                    Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube