Tightness of nosebands

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Tightness of nosebands

This is a discussion on Tightness of nosebands within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category

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    08-14-2009, 10:27 AM
Tightness of nosebands

Hey guys, haven't been around for awhile but I have a question that I would love to hear everyone's opinions on. There are a few people at my barn(riding dressage) that believe in the system that the tighter the noseband the better the ride. So far, their only reasoning for tightening the noseband wicked amounts is only because it makes them better. Where as before, they maybe were not stretching into the bit, or fiddeling with the bit, onening their mouth..who knows.
My understanding and belief is that with a too tight of a noseband, the horse cannot relax and move his jaw as needed to be correct through his entire body. If the horse cannot move his jaw, then his back muscles have no chance of softening. And unable to move their jaw, they move their tongue and often develop the habit of sucking them up trying to find relief.
What do you guys do?
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    08-14-2009, 10:36 AM
Mine is always set so that I could put one finger between the band and the horse.

I could in fact ride without a noseband and there would be no difference.
    08-14-2009, 10:48 AM
Originally Posted by Spyder    
Mine is always set so that I could put one finger between the band and the horse.

I could in fact ride without a noseband and there would be no difference.
Ditto this. In fact I think I just read a GM article in Practical Horseman about this very thing. The noseband should not be so tight as to leave an impression on the face.
    08-14-2009, 11:47 AM
Originally Posted by Spyder    
Mine is always set so that I could put one finger between the band and the horse.

I could in fact ride without a noseband and there would be no difference.
I use the one finger rule too :)
    08-14-2009, 12:47 PM
Green Broke
My old trainer was one of those people who thought you had to have the darn thing SO TIGHT and I felt bad for Sandie so I always loosened it before we rode when he wasn't looking I generally use the 1 finger rule also. She's been happier with it that way too and relaxes more than when my trainer would crank it tight!
    08-14-2009, 12:52 PM
Ditto what everyone else said, one finger.
    08-14-2009, 02:15 PM
Green Broke
Yea, I used to crank it as tight as possible(no clue why I did, I was being stupid) but now, I use the one to two finger rule
    08-14-2009, 02:24 PM
Hooray for strapping horses' mouths shut. There's the Crank noseband out there that's extremely popular right now, and it's designed so the noseband can be tightened even more than normal, because you're using a pulley system.
I cannot understand the logic behind cranking a horse's face shut. It really doesn't makes sense to me at all.
I always always always leave enough room for two stacked fingers between the horse's jaw and the noseband. I never use a flash, but I do not like seeing overly tight flash nosebands either.
It really does drive me nuts to see overly tight nosebands.
    08-15-2009, 01:42 AM
My horse's noseband fits two fingers. I occasionally use a flash, but it's never on tight, it just kind of "hugs."

As for crank nosebands, I used to work with a Fjord at a therapuetic barn and they used that on her for a little while. She always had the heavy, REALLY unbalanced riders, so she was constantly nipping her leader. They use to have a muzzle on her but she got smart and just starting throwing that thing around. It was thrown in the trash when she broke someone's wrist. The crank noseband was supposed to stop her jaw from being able to open enough to bite anyone. And then, she would just bare her teeth and hit you with them. Then, magically, they lowered her class load from 30 to 10 and she was LOADS better. O_O

Sorry for my off-topic vent. =]
    08-15-2009, 02:01 AM
I used to have an instructor also that would tighten as much as possible, my current one is much kinder. We use the finger rule too. I also use a 'flash' (here we call them hanoverian nosebands) but never do it really tight (one finger rule as well) and always make sure the buckle is not against the bone. I only use it because my horse got into the habit of opening her mouth to avoid the bit with her previous owners. The flash band only serves as a reminder and does not strap her mouth tightly shut. She is such a quick learner that she now hardly ever has a problem with opening her mouth.

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