Pure curiosity-Racing bridle - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 04-08-2012, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Pure curiosity-Racing bridle

I'm a racing fan but know nothing about Thoroughbred training or race-day equipment. However, I know we have plenty of people on here who do! :)

I occasionally see a horse outfitted like Derby hopeful I'll Have Another. What is the purpose of the piece that looks almost like an elastic noseband, which connects to the bit but runs up between the eyes and looks like it goes over the poll? Also, is that some sort of "breathe-right" patch on his nose?
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post #2 of 9 Old 04-08-2012, 10:04 PM
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The rubber bit/bridle attachment is called a bit holder, it attaches on to the bit and then goes up to attach on to the crown piece on the bridle, it's purpose is to prevent the horse from getting his tongue over the bit.

The patch on his nose is called a Flair Equine Nasal Strip, it's purpose is to help open up the nostrils to increase airflow through the nostrils to the lungs.
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post #3 of 9 Old 04-09-2012, 02:24 PM
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The rubber fitting is called an Australian Cheeker, believe it or not, and yes it lifts the bit in the mouth. Some say the strap running down the horse's face acts as a psychological restraint, but who knows?

Nasal strips - do they work? Since a horse can't breath through its mouth maybe they do. Eventers use them a lot. The only problem I can see with artificially keeping the nasal passages open is an increased likelyhood of breathing in objects which may bypass the hairs designed to trap them before they reach the lungs. Maybe that's not a problem for short periods of time.

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post #4 of 9 Old 04-09-2012, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to you both, quite interesting.

Your responses make me wonder, what is the difference between this rubber bit holder and a tongue tie? Is it that the tongue tie stops them from playing with the bit, while the rubber bit holder explicitly raises the bit to keep the tongue from coming over?
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post #5 of 9 Old 04-09-2012, 02:47 PM
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A tongue tie is supposed to fix the tongue in position to stop it being drawn back into the mouth - the myth of a horse 'swallowing it's tongue'. What can happen is the drawn-back tongue puts pressure on the soft palate and since horses have a mechanism to stop swallowed food going down the trachea, it's this pressure which can cause an airway restriction as the mechanism tries to kick in. Problem is the horse can't then swallow, which must get uncomfortable.

That's my take, anyway.

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post #6 of 9 Old 04-10-2012, 11:52 PM
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The nasal strip does not hold the nose open. It simply supports the soft tissues of the nose so that the nostrils do not collapse inward. When a horse breathes in hard - like in work - the soft tissue is often sucked into the nasal passage. The strip holds that tissue up and supports it. It does not enlarge the nose
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post #7 of 9 Old 04-11-2012, 12:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egrogan View Post
Thanks to you both, quite interesting.

Your responses make me wonder, what is the difference between this rubber bit holder and a tongue tie? Is it that the tongue tie stops them from playing with the bit, while the rubber bit holder explicitly raises the bit to keep the tongue from coming over?
I was talking with my soon-to-be cousin who works on the race track as a trainer. He was saying that sometimes the tongue tie just isn't enough and some horses will still manage to get their tongue over the bit while others never experience the problem at all.

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post #8 of 9 Old 04-11-2012, 07:14 AM
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I have always heard that piece of equipment refered to as an overcheck, sometimes an Australian overcheck.

Purpose is as the other posters described.
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-11-2012, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzz View Post
The nasal strip does not hold the nose open. It simply supports the soft tissues of the nose so that the nostrils do not collapse inward. When a horse breathes in hard - like in work - the soft tissue is often sucked into the nasal passage. The strip holds that tissue up and supports it. It does not enlarge the nose
It also controls bleeding (EIPH).

You can use an overcheck without a tongue tie. They are not synonymous. I've always found the overcheck to be less disturbing than a tongue tie. The lolling tongue caused by a tongue tie (like Creative Cause's in the SADerby) a bit disturbing. But it depends on the horse -- of course :)!
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