What an interesting thread.
My gelding is in a grackle noseband - he crosses at the jaw and evades the bit that way. Since being in this noseband (with room to fit a finger in easily when done up correctly) I have found the problem we were having has definitely decreased. He is still able to chew, I believe all horses should be able to freely lick and chew under saddle - it's a sign of being content and acceptance with what they're doing. Besides, if Evo's bit stops squeaking, then you know something's up! Haha!
I've seen tight nosebands with bulges on either side of the leather and felt sick at the image. I believe any horse equipment in the wrong hands can be used incorrectly and hurt horses. I know some people believe if you can't ride in a simple cavesson noseband, then you need to train yourself more and its a problem you must solve, not put on a flash etc. As much as I'm the first to admit, I need to get better at my own riding, I know that having Evo in a grackle isn't the end of the world. It serves a purpose, he is happy in his work ethic, and if the gear is used correctly with the intent of removing with time, I can't see why not. I'd like to get him back down to a flash, but for now, he's in a grackle, and I'm not going to feel guilty by those who try to force the "cavesson way only" down my throat. Not meaning anyone on here is though!
♥ Seoul Searchin' for the Lovebug ♥