Need Insight - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 06-24-2019, 01:41 AM Thread Starter
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Need Insight

So I have this big draft horse, I've been training him again and some stuff is coming back. While I was training him I was using a halter bridle combo. I just upgraded his bit for the next stage in his training and now it is time to upgrade into an actual bridle. I can only seem to find draft sized bridles with brow bands and no nose bands. I was wondering to myself if I actually needed the noseband. So, I need some insight from someone who knows the big boys and help me with my question about the fact if a bridle with a brow bands will work the same as a brow bands and a noseband. Do I lose control if I don't have the noseband? Please help me!
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post #2 of 10 Old 06-24-2019, 01:46 AM
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I don't think the size of the horse affects your control...I think it's the training it has. Any horse can misbehave badly enough that you lose control, no matter what size it is, and I highly doubt a noseband would stop it. Obviously not a professional though, that's just what I think.

Also I say misbehave, but that's just a generalization I know horse often do it because of pain, stress, etc.

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post #3 of 10 Old 06-24-2019, 01:56 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much! He has been out in a pasture for 5 years and I just got him 2 years ago, since then this big boy has ruined my tailbone and has misbehaved all the time. That was when I didn't have enough time because I got caught up with school. Now since I have been giving him attention he has really turned around. I'm starting to be live we have a true bond. I needed insight for him because I am only an intermediate rider. I don't know all that much about how my horse would react to a bridle. I want what's best to him and me, he will be my first priority. He will soon be ready for saddle as well. I am trying to upgrade him slowly to new things. I found some beautiful prices of artwork in bridles. I couldn't tell if I would have the same control I do with the halter. Bridle combo. I thought it was all because of the nose band. I just recently found out that he has been very trusting with me lately and I feel like now I can finally upgrade him and make him stylish while doing so. I just love him so much I want what's best for him and I don't know all that much right now, especially in bridles. So thank you!
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post #4 of 10 Old 06-24-2019, 04:25 AM
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It sounds like you really care about him! If I were you, I would research different types of bridles. I don't know what discipline you're doing, but there are tonnes of different English bridles that all do different things for different horses. For example, anatomical bridles (like the micklem bridle) which work around the horse's skull and nerves, hackamores and bitless bridles, just your standard cavason bridles, and I'm sure there are tonnes more that I don't know about. It's just finding what works with your horse! Good luck
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post #5 of 10 Old 06-24-2019, 05:45 AM
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In a standard english bridle, the noseband is just for looks. It does nothing.

There are a lot of variations on english nosebands that keep the mouth from opening to evade the bit. They have become a kind of fad, to the extent that it is hard to find a headstall without one. But there is no reason for them except to address specific training issues. Western headstalls don't have nosebands, for example (although the bosal part of a jaquima set up is a noseband of sorts, it is quite separate in intention and design from an english noseband).

As @duskexx remarks, there are also several "alternative" headstalls available that work on different pressure points on the head. These are particularly useful for horses who have damaged mouths or for other reasons cannot tolerate a bit.

If I were in your shoes I would start with the simplest most basic set up, a snaffle bit and any headstall that holds it in place.
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post #6 of 10 Old 06-24-2019, 07:58 AM
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From my understanding, unless you really tighten it to the point of almost being uncomfortable, a noseband will do almost nothing. As Avna says, it's just for looks. The exception is a horse who is strong and gets in a pulling match with you and her head -- it's possible that the bit could slide out of her mouth. However it is my understanding that bit guards would also solve this problem.

I ride two of mine in nosebands, but one (Teddy) without. Teddy has a sensitive mouth and doesn't like his head being messed with, and he really prefers not having the noseband. The only reason I put Pony (another horse) in a noseband is that he was going to be a show pony and many disciplines require it in shows for some reason.
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post #7 of 10 Old 06-24-2019, 08:21 AM
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So to clarify you are referring to the strap the goes on a bridle that hangs from its own tether strap not the piece of equipment that is better known as a lunging caveson, appears very similar to a halter with rings across the noseband itself...
If you refer to a lunging caveson, no that does not belong on a "bridle" where a bit is also in attendance and used.
There is a difference...and here comes a book...

There are many "thoughts" about cavesons and do they do anything or not...
Some don't think so, some do.
I'm in the place where it does something when used correctly.
So the caveson which is what the noseband not the fancy drop, crank, figure-8 or anything else but the noseband, similar to what is found and used on a halter for instance.
You rode your horse with what sounds like a halter...
Do you think the noseband offered any help in directing the horse?
Would you have been able to establish communication with the horse if you took away that noseband...

So, I was taught it is a important piece of communication with the horse.
First, you need to adjust it correctly.
2 fingers width, so about 1.5 - 2" below the cheek bone and with enough space when tightened you can slip easily 1 finger between band and back of the jaw.
I was taught using a noseband caveson correctly can help the horse to relax their jaw making them softer in the face, more sensitive to cues.
Again, taught that a noseband caveson will aide a horse to not cross their jaw which keeps the horse from taking the bit and running as example.
A noseband caveson can also offer help in keeping a active mouth, one a horse opens closed, but this type caveson is not going to force shut, but remind gently.
A noseband caveson helps to stabilize a bit in the mouth, to keep a mouth quieter.
Depending upon discipline ridden, it can be utilized for a tie-down to be connected to or a standing martingale to also be fixed to.
Its a tool when used correctly aids in communication of our supposed to be "silent aides".
If you truly think about this and how well-trained horses are trained...
Nearly all horses start by learning how to walk, behave and respond to a halter on their head...
A glorified noseband cavseon...
Some horses then graduate to the bosal or similar pieces of tack, a noseband to finely tune and teach understanding is absolutely part of that incorporated into...
Then they graduate from a bosal style bridle to a bit and bridle where the noseband caveson is still a important piece of soft communication...
Then the changes take place, sometimes...
Some remove a cavseon because they see no purpose, no reason to use it.
Then you get others who switch a simple caveson to some of the other kinds of equipment they want to lump together but they aren't, they are variations and some with some pretty detailed specific uses for..
If you understand the different parts of a bridle and what each piece does working in conjunction with another...
You would leave it there adjusted correctly.
Aside from it helps to balance facial appearance on some horses who have ugly heads, it also can add definition, break up a very long face and make it appear nicer in shape and build.
All things trained came from working with a caveson.
Why would you remove such a important piece of communication that offers a chance to keep it softer and rewarding for the horse...
I found you 2 articles with some basics of why to use some never actually were ever taught...
Why use a Cavesson?

I also found some places that specialize in draft and warmblood tack...
The selection of bridles, with or without nosebands of various styles was extensive.
Anytime you introduce any "new" tack of any type to a horse you need to do research first so you are very informed of the pros & cons of it and to use it responsibly and correctly.
The bottom line is only you can feel, can see and watch how your horse reacts to anything you introduce as training aids.
Tack whether saddle, bit, bridle are all aids we humans use to communicate with our hooved partner.
You need to establish a conversation with the animal.
If having that conversation needs to be tweaked by adding something like a noseband caveson so the horse is not so distracted, more focused while learning is beneficial...then do it for the horse.
Just make sure what you introduce is as gentle as possible and as comfortable as possible so learning is a rewarding experience, not one filled with hurts overwhelming a really sensitive nose area many not realize or understand just how sensitive it is.

I look at the better and best trained bridle-horses in all disciplines and look closely at their tack used...
Some still wear variations of that noseband caveson or have graduated on to specialized bits where instead of a "noseband" a curb chain now exists to make cuing and communication as silent a aid as possible.
Tack and the wearing of it is individualized.
Some horses resent anything on their face, others don't.
Some resent a bit in the mouth, others don't.
Some horses object strongly to fit of a saddle, others don't.
You need to be a active participant when working with and introducing anything new to your horse.
Watch, observe and feel, truly open the lines of communication and feel what your horse is trying to tell you.
However, it all started with a horse wearing a halter, a form of noseband caveson, fact.
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Last edited by horselovinguy; 06-24-2019 at 08:41 AM. Reason: typo
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post #8 of 10 Old 07-01-2019, 02:44 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much! The most I want is his comfort...even with his size and temperment... His needs are always my number one priority like I said before. I very much love him. Honestly, he is still being trained and still has behavior issues. He is a dominant horse so every week he tests me. I'm always up for it as well. I prove myself, and I when I do he is learning slowly about what I would like him to do and how I am more fragile than another horse. Lately, I believe he thinks I'm a super human. Him and I do have a bond, I believe that full heartedly. I want his comfort in mind, of course I'm sure everyone wants there horses comfort in mind. I wasn't sure if I was really doing anything with the noseband of course now I see it is better for him, especially how big he is. Thank you again for the insight, I very much appreciate it.
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post #9 of 10 Old 07-01-2019, 06:12 AM
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I have an irish draught and asked this same question a year ago? More actually, and the same veterans replied! ;) Her head is ridiculously huge. Full size wont fit hah. Xtra full or xtra xtra full or draught or whatever new term ppl come up with! She's been noseband-less for more than a year actually. No problem. She doesn't gape and doesn't go any different without one. Her nose rubs easily but that is the second reason I took it off (first being a medical condition with her jaw). I do agree that for some a nose band may provide a source of comfort and relaxation - when done up correctly and not cranked to prevent blood circulation, you know what I mean -.-

What I will say has made a difference is getting keepers for her bit as I'd lost the original pair during our bridle-experimentation days. I was told 50/50 it wasn't needed/it was. As you saw above she has issues with her jaw so it's still a lot of fine tuning trying to get her to stop clenching. She actually relaxed more with them I guess because the whole point was to hold it in a steady/correct position >.< Just something to bear in mind depending what one you use!

Good luck in your search!
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post #10 of 10 Old 07-01-2019, 09:07 AM
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This tack supply place in Ontario specializes in draft sizes. They have English bridles with nosebands!
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