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Can we discuss "lever" nosebands?

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  • Can we discuss "lever" nosebands?

    I had an interesting xc go on Toby yesterday. It was equal parts hair raising and brilliant. He jumped through all the combinations like a total rock star, but was a bit of a freight train between fences. I am not ruling out that it could have a great deal to do with "HELL YEAH!!! CROSS COUNTRY!!!!" since he hasn't been on course since early June. However, he's on probation. I may run our next event in the same set up to see how he is (figure eight and full cheek happy mouth snaffle). This will be discussed with trusted advisers over the next two weeks. But I'm also starting to consider some options in case this is going to be his "thing." I rather not repeat it.

    Here's the thing. He's quite sensitive, hence the happy mouth. He is easy to cause an over reaction on, even in this. And while he can be strong, he is also quite polite when it counts (ie, he jumped into all the combos and stayed soft and rideable and doesn't cross his jaw or make stupid moves- usually...there was that last fence- in front of the fences). I am loath to bit him up because he is so sensitive...usually. I also am a little hesitant about bitting him up because he doesn't need more bit in show jumping, and I rather not have to do a presto-chango tack change in the quick change overs at our local one days.

    Which leads me to a "lever" noseband (although, I've always called it a combination noseband...go figure). Here it is, in case anyone is unsure- http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...0&l=b96aaa94dd I have one in my spare parts box, and I'm thinking of giving it a go. Interested to see what others experience with them has been.

  • #2
    When I competed my horse, he was the type that would frequently run through my aids and could be described as part freight train. Changing him to a lever noseband was like our lightbulb moment. Because he couldn't cross his jaw, my half halts and pulley reins became much effective. You could almost see him think "Crap! Yes, ma'am." I think they're a great solution for those strong, gun-ho horses that need that little "extra" reminder to listen.


    • #3
      Agree w/ TG

      One of mine goes in a lever for competition and clinics. It totally changes him from freight train to !yes ma'am!. And he goes in a loose ring french.

      because he's coming back from an injury, I'm thinking of putting it on him for a few home schools too. He was very happy to be jumping again and was a bit of a freight train.

      I have found it the perfect solution to a sensitive horse who gets a bit enthusiastic about running and jumping.


      • #4
        I can't see the photo.

        The picture that comes is of "Bobby admiring Toby's awesomeness". And a gorgeous boy Bobby is too.
        "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
        Thread killer Extraordinaire


        • #5
          I also see Toby's awesome-ness photo. (and I agree that he looks pretty awesome! I'd love to see the picture of the noseband you are discussing, because it sounds like possibly just what I need with Phoenix!


          • Original Poster

            Ha! Sorry! I didn't even notice the link didn't copy and paste right. I'll turn the laptop on and fix that (he's pretty awesome, though, and I never mind showing him off! Part of the issue may have been he's REALLY fit!).

            And, yes, Bobby is a very handsome boy, as his brother Ricky.


            • #7
              Here's another reference for you guys: http://www.vtosaddlery.com/Merchant2...FQTOnAodtTMA2Q


              • #8
                It was awesome for my jaw-crosser. So awesome, in fact, that we were able to back away from some pretty big mouthfuls of metal down to a french link with the lever noseband ... for a while, at least. I show-jumped him in it, with the french-link, through advanced and loved the feel it gave me. He seemed happy in it, too.
                I evented just for the Halibut.


                • #9
                  How does it work?


                  • #10
                    It's called a Kineton. Here is the same one for less than the other link. My go to is a gag so that is where I would start but if you already own the noseband it can't hurt to try.

                    McDowell Racing Stables

                    Home Away From Home


                    • Original Poster

                      Actually, a kineton and lever are different. And I definitely have a lever.

                      A gag is too much for him. I rode him in one for awhile, but he is much more rideable now than he was and it got to be WAY too much bit for him.


                      • Original Poster

                        A kineton (on the horse...easier to see the difference)- http://www.bitofbritain.com/Nunn_Fin...ton_p/0467.htm The metal loop goes UNDER the bit.

                        A lever: http://www.bitofbritain.com/Nunn_Fin...and_p/0071.htm Has straps under and over the bit.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rthonor View Post
                          How does it work?
                          My understanding is that the metal half-moons act sort of like lateral braces. It has leather buckles under the jaw under both the top and bottom ends of the metal arch, and you keep those fairly tight. Between the metal along the sides of the horse's mouth and the snug fit, it helps prevent them from crossing the jaw and grabbing the bit.
                          For a horse who uses the crossed jaw as its main evasion, it can be very effective and allow you to use a fairly mild bit in combination with it.
                          I evented just for the Halibut.


                          • #14
                            hmm, thats interesting. Not sure if my horse is crossing her jaw but she is very strong, yet sensitive like yellowbritches horse is.


                            • #15
                              Please could you explain the nuances of when to use the kenton and when to choose the lever?
                              Intermediate Riding Skills


                              • #16
                                My mistake, I didn't notice it went in front of the bit. I still say if you already have it you might as well give it a try.
                                McDowell Racing Stables

                                Home Away From Home


                                • #17
                                  I really want to try a lever and/or kineton noseband on my horse, but I can't justify spending that much on something I've never tried before. Does anyone know if I can rent one somewhere?


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Originally posted by whicker View Post
                                    Please could you explain the nuances of when to use the kenton and when to choose the lever?
                                    NeverTime's explanation above of how a lever works seems like a good one. The kineton applies pressure on the nose when the horse pulls against you (my understanding). So, I guess if you had a horse that was just a plain old PULLER you might try the kineton, while a horse that crosses its jaw or hangs one way might be better in a lever. I was told today that the lever seems far more effective, for whatever that's worth.


                                    • #19
                                      I think trying it is the right answer. From all the descriptions of how it works, it sounded like the perfect solution for Ben. Keep a mild french-link, and go to something that would reduce his bracing -- basically, my hands weren't good enough to have "more" bit, and it was believed by several professionals that this noseband was the answer.

                                      He freakin' hated it. It was AWFUL. He went from being a strong, freight train to being a strong, freight train who also flipped his head and threw a fit.

                                      We lent it to a young rider about 6 months later, and even though it has never been returned, I've been ok with that!

                                      What worked for Ben was a figure 8 with a boucher french link -- go figure -- but if you have a lever noseband already, I'd give it a try and see what you get!

                                      Sensitive horses are an endless puzzle! Mine is retired now, and I miss riding his sore footed, sensitive, think skinned, allergy prone self every darn day!

                                      I have Higher Standards ...do you? Find us on FB!
                                      Higher Standards Custom Leather Care -- Handcrafted Saddle Soap


                                      • #20
                                        For a similar issue, I went to a figure 8 noseband with a center revolver loose ring with hooks. It has worked well, but I do keep the noseband tight. My guy also was too sensitive with a gag or pelham and would get backed off or curl.

                                        I'll be anxious to hear how the lever works, as I've always wondered if that would be a solution for us?
                                        Last edited by Rainier; Sep. 17, 2012, 11:39 AM.