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WHY are nosebands compulsory ?

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  • WHY are nosebands compulsory ?

    This came up the other day when I took my coat to the 2nd hand tack store, and was looking for a double bridle for Ag shows. But, all they had were dressage ones with raised nosebands, not flat ones like I want.

    Got me thinking, WHY are nosebands compulsory?

    I use to have a horse who I schooled without one, because he bridle that came with him didn't have one, then at my first show, I had to swap bridles with a friend because hers had a noseband and mine didn't.

  • #2
    Originally posted by mandalea View Post
    [COLOR="Purple"]This came up the other day when I took my coat to the 2nd hand tack store, and was looking for a double bridle for Ag shows. But, all they had were dressage ones with raised nosebands, not flat ones like I want.

    Got me thinking, WHY are nosebands compulsory?
    Someone figures it's a safety thing? Tradition?

    I searched high and low for a black dressage bridle with a plain old cavesson to go with my dressage saddle for competing in dressage and the dressage phase in eventing. I didn't want a flash, drop, or crank. I could find nothing that suited me until I found a crank noseband without all the stuff underneath, just plain straps. I set it up loose enough that I do not undo any of the buckles to put it on or take it off, and we are good to go.

    I had one mare I competed in a flash, but all my others have gone in a plain, loosely adjusted (not so it is floppy, but could be put on and taken off without any adjustments to the size) for all their competitions. I've never had a problem with my horses gaping or fretting, except that one mare. She was a miserably failed Western Pleasure horse who went on to do First level dressage and Training level eventing for me--she was a bit of a tricky ride, lots of baggage. She just settled better when the tack gave her some parameters. Now, because of her melanomas, at the age of 18 she goes in a Western one eared bridle with no noseband. Go figure!
    Eileen
    http://themaresnest.us

    Comment


    • #3
      dressage extensions has bridles and pieces

      Dressage Extensions has bridles without a flash and they sell the nosebands and other bridle pieces in parts as well. You can buy the one that is 'plain' (I think they call it a French noseband) if that is what you like. It may not be shown in the pictures but it is in the list of options for bridle parts.

      I understood the noseband was from the old cavalry days and meant to be able to tie a horse with it rather than tie by the bit. Could be just a story at this point.

      If the noseband is loose it shouldn't bother the horse. I have had trainers tell me it is distracting to the horse if it is loose - I don't buy it. When the Lippizans came I went to the performance and some of their nosebands were so loose they bounced with the strides. I think you could put a fist under them, which is fine by me. Plus they looked like red velvet with gold trim, decorative rather than functional.
      Forward...go forward

      Comment


      • #4
        Why are they compulsary?
        Because it is traditional.

        Why is it traditional?
        Dressage comes out of the military riding tradition, and cavalry horses needed to have a way to be tied up, fully tacked, without tieing to the bit. The original cavesons functioned like a halter, with a place to hook on a tie rope. Endurance riders nowadays use tack that has the same function.
        Janet

        chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

        Comment


        • #5
          Not necessarily only tradition. They actually serve a purpose by directing the way the pressure is applied via the bit. St. Georg (the German Federation's Magazine) ran a long article on why a noseband is better for the horse within the last year. (I'll try to dig it up).
          "Reite dein Pferd vorwärts und richte es gerade.” Gustav Steinbrecht

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          • #6
            also if your bridle breaks, it will hold something around his face while you reach forward to try to stop him by grabbing something. . don't ask me how I know.

            I should mention I only use a noseband for clinics as it is one more piece of tack to clean.
            A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton

            Comment


            • #7
              i thought it was a safety thing ... to keep the bit from going thru the mouth thats what i was taught anyway. English has the noseband, and western has the chin strap.
              Carol and Princess Dewi

              **~Doccer'sDressage~**

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by doccer View Post
                i thought it was a safety thing ... to keep the bit from going thru the mouth thats what i was taught anyway. English has the noseband, and western has the chin strap.
                How on earth would a plain or crank noseband prevent a bit from getting pulled through the mouth?

                Even a flash, drop, or figure-8 I'd be surprised if they really prevented that from happening.
                Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Not sure if it relates to Dressage, but I heard that they are for safety. Keeping in mind this is only referring to the normal loosely fitted cavesson, not cranks/drops/flashes. Years ago, when a horse was jumping, if it tripped and fell, the noseband would stop the horses mouth from opening which in turn stops the horse from breaking it's neck on impact. Imagine, horse with mouth wide open hurtling towards the ground vs. horse with mouth closed (neck twists rather than sudden impact --> breaks). So I've heard anyway.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Cavesons change the action of the bit. The rider can control the horse with less pressure on the reins. The caveson makes the rider's rein aids more subtle.

                    Cavesons were originally designed to help control the horse. They do not prevent the horse from opening its mouth, but the horse can't open his mouth quite as wide with some cavesons.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If your looking for just a simple plain french cavesson bridle for really cheap, here is one http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=260463281148

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Janet's reply seems most logical to me.


                        Originally posted by slc2 View Post
                        Cavesons change the action of the bit. The rider can control the horse with less pressure on the reins. The caveson makes the rider's rein aids more subtle.

                        Cavesons were originally designed to help control the horse. They do not prevent the horse from opening its mouth, but the horse can't open his mouth quite as wide with some cavesons.
                        I do not know how a caveson/noseband helps control - a plain one at least. It is not attached to the bridle in any way. It may help a horse not open his mouth quite as much, if put on very tight, but I was taught that you were supposed to have two fingers space between horse and caveson, which is loose enough to still open the mouth. Having ridden English in bridles both with and without cavesons, I have never noticed a difference in rein action.


                        Originally posted by _downpour_ View Post
                        Not sure if it relates to Dressage, but I heard that they are for safety. Keeping in mind this is only referring to the normal loosely fitted cavesson, not cranks/drops/flashes. Years ago, when a horse was jumping, if it tripped and fell, the noseband would stop the horses mouth from opening which in turn stops the horse from breaking it's neck on impact. Imagine, horse with mouth wide open hurtling towards the ground vs. horse with mouth closed (neck twists rather than sudden impact --> breaks). So I've heard anyway.
                        I know several horses that can open their mouth with a regular caveson on. I am not sure how an open or closed mouth would determine whether or not the neck breaks. The teeth maybe, not the neck. An open mouth does not automatically mean a neck is going to or not going to twist.

                        Originally posted by doccer View Post
                        i thought it was a safety thing ... to keep the bit from going thru the mouth thats what i was taught anyway. English has the noseband, and western has the chin strap.
                        I have pulled bits (eggbutt snaffles) through the mouth of two naughty horses. Both wore appropriately tightened nosebands.

                        Originally posted by InsideLeg2OutsideRein View Post
                        Not necessarily only tradition. They actually serve a purpose by directing the way the pressure is applied via the bit. St. Georg (the German Federation's Magazine) ran a long article on why a noseband is better for the horse within the last year. (I'll try to dig it up).
                        I would love to see this article. How does a noseband direct anything if it is not attached to the bridle in any way? Again, it might be a matter of how tight someone puts a noseband on, but I have never noticed a difference.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mandalea View Post


                          Got me thinking, WHY are nosebands compulsory?
                          DOH! To make your horses head look pretty - Tongue In Cheek sorry (and not particularly helpful)
                          If you want to feel rich, just count all of the things you have that money can't buy.

                          -Anon

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I believe "cavesson" is an anglification of the French "cavecon" (with a cedille under the c) which, in my ancient Cassell's Dictionary, translates as headstall - Americaninzed to halter.
                            Therefore, our much taken for granted bridle is actually a combination of halter and cheekpieces. Leave it to the French to make the combination stylish.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I had to sit back and giggle here for a moment.
                              here we all are, experienced equestrians capable of moving mountains and taking over the world and we dont even know the purpose for some of our dang tack!
                              hell, i dont know what a noseband is for, and judging by this thread i'm not alone.
                              www.destinationconsensusequus.com
                              chaque pas est fait ensemble

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I don't know, but I sometimes school without one because I think it makes my horse's head look prettier.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Why ask why?

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    "hell, i dont know what a noseband is for, and judging by this thread i'm not alone."

                                    Read Janet's post # 4.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Janet View Post
                                      Why are they compulsary?
                                      Because it is traditional.

                                      Why is it traditional?
                                      Dressage comes out of the military riding tradition, and cavalry horses needed to have a way to be tied up, fully tacked, without tieing to the bit. The original cavesons functioned like a halter, with a place to hook on a tie rope. Endurance riders nowadays use tack that has the same function.
                                      Makes sense to me, having seen military riders with the halter rope knotted about to neck in an intricate knot.
                                      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


                                      • #20
                                        For those that say a horse can still open his mouth with a cavesson on, so it really doesn't do much, I say, sure, he can open his mouth a bit. But, have you seen a naughty horse evade the bit by really opening his mouth if he doesn't have a cavesson on? They have a lot more freedom to avoid bit pressure and can be a good deal less controllable with their mouths able to open like that.

                                        Certainly in a perfect world a horse is perfectly trained and happy in his mouth, so these things don't happen. Though this may not have been the original use of the cavesson, it is a piece of tack that has definitely evolved to help with this problem (a training tool of sorts).

                                        In the end, I'd guess the main reason is just tradition. I mean, why are dressage jackets compulsory? Why do we have to wear light colored breeches and dark coats with silly looking hats?

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