When placed correctly (ie the noseband is 1-2 fingers below the cheekbone with space for at least 2 fingers under the cavesson and even more under the flash) a flash serves to keep the snaffles bit quieter in the horses mouth. It will not and was not ever designed to stop the horses jaw from crossing, like a figure 8. The flash is most commonly seen with loose ring bits as they are the most noisey in the horses mouth. Egg butts, dees, etc are all quieter and that is why they are favoured in hunters where flashes are not allowed.
Drop nosebands are similar in function to a flash. I find the flash better for most horses as it transitions well into a plain cavesson used with a double bridle. Flashes and drop nosebands should not be combined with any leverage bit or gag, where as figure 8s and grackles can be used with these bits.
Eta the picture in that article features an atrocious adjustment of a flash which is not the fault of the equipment, but of the person putting it on the horse.
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Last edited by ~*~anebel~*~; 11-02-2012 at 02:10 AM.