Do I really need a Figure 8?
The gelding I lease goes in a figure 8 bridle, and his owner says to really tighten it up for riding. He has a French link loose ring snaffle, and a very soft, responsive mouth. I have recently been doubting if he really needs this, as he seems like he would go well in a plain hunter bridle. He is never head-strong, and I never have to use much pressure at all to get him to slow. He likes to play with his bit, and is always seeking contact or on the bit.he is the calmest horse I have ever seen, and is perfectly responsive to bit cues, and leg cues for the most part, he sometimes needs a crop. I noticed that the flash bugs him, and he always tries to scratch it.
So, does he really need the figure 8? Or should I try him in a plain hunter bridle?
A flash, figure 8, or even a noes band should NEVER EVER be tight. You should be able to fit 2 fingers under.
sounds to me like the classic case of over tacking a horse, becaue "it looks good" to some people.
That's what I thought! But the owner literally told me to crank it to the last hole. Do you think I should try him with a hunter bridle?
Unfortunately you are leasing this horse and thus he is not yours so I wouldn't change tack without first getting approval from the owner first. If it was your horse he probably would do fine without the figure 8.
If you can't get permission to use a regular hunger bridle, you might just want to compromise and loosen the figure 8 and not crank it down.
I'd get his teeth looked at, but that's just me.
My first horse went in a tight Grakle but only because he pulled like a train cross-country and I couldn't hold him. As he aged he wore it all the time (see avatar) - once they're into their twenties they think they know it all! (And my nerve began to go!)
If the horse seems to go okay in it, and he's obviously used to it, you'll have to stick with it, I guess.
I agree totally with Cat on this. Not your horse but if he doesn't need it cranked down, loosen it up if the owner isn't there to reprimand you for it.
I would talk to the owner of the horse, also are you taking lessons? If so, the trainer could possibly talk with the owner about the noseband, and how it should really be used (unless (s)he's in the same boat as the owner). What were the terms of the lease, are you allowed to use your own tack, or have the option of using hers, or are you just supposed to use her tack? If you can use your own, then its perfectly reasonable to use whatever you would normally use, be that the same type of bridle, or a different bridle. Best bet though is to just talk to the owner, or have trainer talk to owner, and if all else fails, then just keep it so you can fit two fingers underneath the straps. I hope you can find a good compromise with the owner.
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