The first photo, I believe, actually shows a browband headstall, not a one-ear. I really like browband headstalls because they stay on well.
One ears (with or without the ear piece) can go flying off. I've seen it happen several times. All the horse has to do is give a good toss of the head. So unless you are keeping constant rein contact (not generally done western) you can still loose the bridle even though the rein contact on a curb bit will tighten the bridle. Does that make sense?
I own one one-ear that I really like (because it has silver on it) but all my other headstalls have a browband. Otherwise they can just toss their head at a fly and your one ear can go flying. So I dunno, feel free to try it. Especially if you have a nice horse that won't take advantage of you if you happen to loose the bridle.
It is a mystery to me, however, that one-ears are as popular as they are. Maybe it's just because I ride trails and they aren't as practical for that. Maybe if someone just rides arenas or does shows, you can go go for the one-ear look and not worry about loosing your bridle.
You know how sometimes a sweaty horse will do a full-body shake? That can send your one-ear (or no ear) flying too. So I like browband headstalls myself.
Last edited by trailhorserider; 02-28-2010 at 03:26 AM.