Featured post

4 Exercises to Help Calm a Hot Horse

If there is anyone that can talk about hot horses on a hack, it is me.  My horse Shandy was a complete nightmare on hacks.  He would attem...

Monday, 19 July 2021

Why you Need to Stop Using These Nosebands, Now

Our horses have no desire to be ridden by us yet they work hard with us.  We owe it to them to make being ridden as comfortable as possible.  This means avoiding painful and restrictive nose bands.

*The Post Contains Affiliate Links, Read About Amazon Affiliate Links here.  Every affiliate link on this page with be marked with stars*

1.  Closing Your Horse's Mouth Isn't Training

A big reason why people use restrictive nosebands is that the horse opens his mouth or crosses his jaw.  This only masks the problem.  A well-trained horse does not need this extra gear.  You must understand that it is an untrained horse or a bad rider that causes the horse to open his mouth.  A trained horse will LIKE soft, consistent contact and would never open his mouth to avoid that contact.  

You either need to get a good trainer who won't encourage you to use more gear OR re-train your horse.  You will have with NO contact at all (loose reins) and ride with your seat until the horse listens to your body and leg aids.  You will then start to feel the horse stretching down into the loose reins (into a long and low shape) because he is balanced and ready for contact.  

Obviously, this is not a lesson and that is a very condensed version of training your horse correctly but you get the basic idea.  This could take up to 1 year to get your horse to accept contact, depending on the horse.  I would say it took my horse Shandy around 3 months to accept my contact but a full year of long and low before I could slowly lift his head.  

2.  Causes Mouth Problems

This is a huge problem that people seem to not think about.   If your horse already has underlining mouth problems (which probably cause the training problem to show up) then it will make things a lot worse.  The sharp teeth will dig into the horse's tongue and gums.  When the teeth are all different lengths, it will cause pressure on the longest tooth only instead of even pressure across all teeth.  

A flash noseband will also cause pain around the nose where there are lots of sensitive nerves.  If the noseband is tightened too much or too low on the nose, it causes restricted breathing.  The horse can also end up biting his tongue while trying to open his mouth.  

3.  Causes Tension

Your horse naturally moves his jaw for most of the day while eating.  When you restrict this completely natural movement, the horse's jaw becomes tense.  This actually causes the horse to brace against the bit more, defeating the 'purpose' of the noseband.  This basically means your horse will never truly be 'on the bit' or 'engaged'.  His back will hollow and his hind legs will get left behind causing his front legs to pull him along.  

It is much better to re-start training your horse with a *side pull bridle or a *normal bridle and *soft bit.  

4.  Causes Pain 

Tight, restrictive nosebands have been known to cause pain and stress to horses.  Looking at this study, we can see that Figure 3 shows the difference in heartrate depending on how tight the horse's crank noseband is.  

A quote from the study - 'produced evidence that horses undergo a physiological stress response when wearing a tight noseband in combination with a double bridle. Significant shifts were seen in heart rate, HRV, and eye temperature in association with tight noseband use, suggesting that horses experience pain or discomfort when nosebands are tightened such that there is no space available underneath them'.  

This post proves that horses not only undergo a physiological stress response, but also that nosebands that are wider and have padding actually makes the pain worse.  These nosebands put pressure on the horse's nasal bones, cheeks and teeth.  


I am not a horse trainer or any other equestrian professional.  I only give advice on horsey topics that I have experience as a horse owner in.  Please don't follow my advice without contacting a relevant equestrian professional.  


No comments:

Post a Comment