Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Western Massachusetts
As per the linked article? I skimmed it and it seemed to mostly be anti-tight noseband. And no one has ever explained the purpose of a loose noseband, other than aesthetics.
The linked article does start with this interesting idea: "Nosebands evolved for many reasons, but one of the first uses was very practical: to keep the jaws of horses from clattering as they galloped into war laden with heavy armor, while at the same time keeping unruly stallions from taking bites out of each other and affording the often less than experienced soldier some control of his mount."
This quotation totally destroyed my faith in the author, as it sounds like she pulled it out straight of her you know where. Clattering jaws? Unruly stallions? More control? These statements range from dubious to ridiculous.
The only reason I've ever read or heard that made sense to me about why to have a TIGHT noseband, is that it keeps the horse from evading the bit pressure by opening its mouth. Period. If this is true, and it sure sounds like it is, then one must always ask the question of why you are applying that much pressure. This, I believe, is the crux of the issue. You have to answer this and answer it honestly.
I also want to add that I have heard very high level instructors give very bogus reasons for doing things. It is a very rare equine professional who has any sense of the real biomechanics of riding and tack. The amount of peer-reviewed and tested science used by riding instructors is infinitesimal. Doesn't mean they don't know how to do stuff, it's just that riding is more of a 'learned feel' than anything else.
There are only two reasons to do anything with training and tack:
1. because it gets the results you want. The cost of those results being a somewhat separate issue.
2. because it is your unexamined habit, whether it gets results, doesn't do anything either way, or is a net detriment. Usually this is because the culture of your discipline has taught you to do it that way, and going against the culture which supports you is a hard ugly road most people understandably won't choose.
And every horse is different, too.
Short horse lover