Using a flash or not?
I have a horse that has been under saddle now for about five months. She going well and I plan on showing some dressage around the first of June. I don't use a flash on her. Do I need to start using one or is it okay to ride without one in her first year of showing? I will either be showing Intro or Training level.
Why do you feel that you need a flash?
If she is fine without a flash then dont use a flash!
Only reason I use a flash is cause my horse like to play way too much iwth the bit and its not found attrctive to see that! I dont use it to keep his mouth clamped shut.
if your girl is good and soft with the bit without I say no need...could just be a wait and see kind of thing at the show. Show nerves my come out and she might open her mouth a bit but again it shouldnt be used to clamp their mouths shut...
Well, I never used one before until someone told me it was not cool to not use one. You know, the type of person who always thinks they know more about dressage than you do tells you what to do and what not to do (I have hostility issues).... So yeah, she's really good without it and I don't want to clamp her down at all.
Blah! Then no worries! Its great that your greenie doesnt need that! Your on the right track to succeed with her at this rate with no restraints! My boy just gets silly LOL and his jump bridle is a figure eights so its just part of the bridle but is still dont clamp...another reason being as I give out sugar cubes when we go through good paces and he needs a reward on a walk break...that way he can recive it!
I actually asked on our local FB here and this was the response I got. I thought it was quite interesting.
"If you do not need a flash, then make sure you use a bridle that does not have the loop for the flash on the noseband. You can easily snip the loop holder off of the noseband. A judge would frown on use of a bridle that had the loop and the flash not being used. So if you do not need a flash, then use a bridle that does not have the loop for it. Judges will not frown upon you if you do not use a flash and your horse does not need it."
A flash is intended to keep the bit quiter in the horse's mouth. It's something I use on breakers or very green horses, or those with 'issues' taking a contact.
Unfortunately it is now being misused by many riders, to seal the jaw shut to stop the horse moving the jaw. If your horse is ple ing it's mouth or crossing its jaw, there's an issue that clamping its mouth shut is not going to solve.
As for the loops on a noseband without using a flash, I have NEVER known a Dressage judge to mark down on that. I leave the loop on my bridle because I use it on various horses, some needing a flash and some not. I certainly cannot afford to buy multiple bridles if not required, at this point in time. And I compete on a state level in official Dressage competition.
If you're getting pulled up on something as petty as a small loop on your noseband, the judge probably needs some training!
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I hate people using equipment just because it is fashionable. Equipment was designed for a purpose, not to allow people to get away with not training horses correctly.
If your horse needs a flash, use one. If it doesn't need one, don't use it. Just remember it is there to prevent your horse opening its mouth excessively to avoid the bit... it is NOT meant to be used to clamp the mouth shut.
I use a martingale and a flash on my green OTTB as he has a tendancy to rear and open his mouth. I don't wan't him learning he can chuck his head up to avoid aids just before a jump. He does not wear the martingale when schooling on the flat, but I keep the flash on. My older horse does not chuck his head or try and avoid the bit when jumping and does not get ridden in a martingale or a flash. I see so many people riding in martingales because they haven't taught their horse to be ridden long and low or haven't addressed training issues and are happy to allow a gadget to fix it.
Agree with the advice given above. My 4yo has a flash as he chomps away and finds the bit and contact a lot easier.
My old horse only had a flash on when we rode in a quadrille and he tried to take a chunk out of the horse next to him :S
If your horse doesn't need it, don't use it! Why fix something that isn't broke?
Good luck in your show!
I will add that my lad wears a flash at the moment but it is fairly loose. He only wears one because when he panics the first thing he does is cross his jaw and then he bolts.
If I stop him crossing his jaw I have a couple of seconds more to reassure him and make him think about something else. (normaly stick him on a small circle or leg yield him).
He does not need it for normal riding, and it certainly isnt tight enough for it to do much normaly but it does help with his panicing (we are working on getting rid all together but for the sake of my neck untill we have established that canter doesnt hurt, then we will keep the flash)
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