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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'd like to get a new bridle for my horse.

My current bridle doesn't have a noseband (or browband, or throatlatch...) and he goes pretty well in it. He will take up a frame and gently chew the bit while working. However, he goes in a low port myler full cheek because he requires a great deal of stability with his bit, and is obviously very uncomfortable with a more mobile bit.

He's not one to gape his mouth or evade the bit, but would a drop noseband, adjusted loosely, have any benefits to him? His bit is already pretty darn stable as it is, but it sounds like a sensitive mouth like his might appreciate the extra support a drop could offer.
 

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I have similar issues with my horse (hates jointed or loose bits, can't stand pretty much any movement in her mouth) and a mullen mouth bit with zero movement in the middle has worked WONDERS. The noseband doesn't seem to make much of a difference in my experience. I've tried the mylers and she was fussy in that but not the plain mullen. The roller and joint on the mylers bothered her.
 

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If you want to really add stability to the bit make sure you use bit loops as they hold the position and stabilize the movement of the mouthpiece joints.
Add to that that the diameter of the mouthpiece fit the oral cavity correctly of not to big or to small and that width is correct and not pinching nor to wide for the animal.
As the below pictures show there is a large difference in what that bit is going to do in the mouth, how it is carried by the horse and the level of communication the horse is going to receive from your hands.
The first picture is a Figure-8, second and third are of flash nosebands and as you can see with or without bit loops used.
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A drop noseband...now none of the above pictures is a drop noseband.
Drop nosebands are not popular today... A flash, crank or figure 8 is more what is seen.
Drop nosebands, the real thing are a tool used to keep a mouth quiet, shut and from evading a bit..

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As you can see, when using a drop-noseband you lower the actual noseband down to sitting on the soft tissue of the nasal/sinus cavity so great care is needed you not damage or compress and restrict breathing ability...
This area is rich with nerves and blood flow..
Now, because it is a "drop" does not mean you can not also use as a conventional caveson by raising it to 2-fingers below the cheek bone and fasten it..
Drops give you the choice of caveson or drop in the same piece of equipment.

This is the description of a drop noseband..
A drop noseband, also known as a Hanoverian, hangs lower on the horse's face, hanging down below the level of the bit rings and helps prevent the horse from opening its mouth and evading the bit. Drop nosebands aren't as popular as crank, flash, or combination nosebands these days.
From "the spruce pets website, choosing the right noseband..
🐴...
 

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A drop noseband can be good for stabilizing the bit. It's also good for preventing them from crossing the jaw and keeping pressure off the molars.

There is another type of noseband out there, not very common and for the life of me I can't remember the name, that is like a flash but attaches to the bit. The purpose is to hold the bit up. You can DIY one yourself by using a flash, putting the ends through the bit rings, then running it back up and fastening back up on the top. It does apply some nose pressure when the bit is used.

You could also try a Micklem bridle with has a similiar effect with the clips. A bit to try is a baucher. Similar to a full cheek with keepers, but a touch more stable.
 

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Apuetso...if you can find a picture of that noseband you referred to share it...
Sounds intriguing and not one I'm familiar with that description of.... :unsure:
Is it any of these?? This is supposed to be a kineton or lever...not one I ever used..
This is the only one that I know can combine very closely with the bit for assistance...


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Yep, I thought Kineton as well!
 

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No, not the Kinton. Kinton is more for horses who are hard to stop and respond better to node pressure. I suppose a Kinton could have a similar effect based on how it's adjusted. I remeber reading about this other noseband, think the name starts with a 'M'. It's just a leather piece with a buckle on each end.
 

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Is it this??
Works with Neil Merrill Gags

Racing you see the noseband variation that comes down the face off the browband and "Y" off to a bit holder...
Other than that I'm stumped and even this "leather strap" doesn't make sense to me by itself...as part of a package of items but by itself...:confused:
I give....no more ideas.
🐴...
 

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The only other one I know is the Worcester noseband which is like the racing one - it looks like half a flash and attaches to the bit.

It sounds more like the myler

 

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Yes, Worcester!

I finally found pictures similar to what I was thinking of, though not by that name. Found them under the driving bridles.

 

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Interesting...
Not one I've ever seen nor had chance to see in use..
Have either of you used this?

And with that...thank-you for diligence in finding what so intrigued me.

Oops...Ratlady I'm sorry and apologize for diverting your thread..
I'll now go lurk back in the corner, embarrassed I am...😚
🐴...
 

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@horselovinguy - No, never used one. When you mentioned the racing noseband - Australian noseband - it must have triggered something in my memory. I'm only aware of it because I'd carriage driving relatives and friends, and I'd seen it on horses they were around.

ETA: I imagine that it's a milder version of kineton.

Sorry Ratlady 😚! It was either work out the noseband or a sleepless night :ROFLMAO:
 

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This is not going to be very popular but...
A drop noseband, or ANY noseband is basically going to prevent the horse from being able to escape bit discomfort by clamping it's jaw shut. If you attach it loosely, what good is it? It sounds as if the horse goes well enough without a noseband. Please don't take this as a negative assumption on my part, but maybe a thought toward how you communicate with the horse through the reins and bit? It could perhaps be that if you modified your aids so that you scarcely have to employ the bit, the result would be superior to adding a noseband.
 

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I would try a different bit before trying a noseband. My mare likes a mullen mouth and does not like anything jointed. However she leans on a mullen mouth. I now use a Billy Allen- the middle of the bit is fixed, but it allows for independent action from each side. Same curved shape as the mullen.
 

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A drop noseband can be good for stabilizing the bit. It's also good for preventing them from crossing the jaw and keeping pressure off the molars.
how is that? Wouldn't the snaffle bit move back, against the molars just the same as with no noseband, or a traditional one?
There is another type of noseband out there, not very common and for the life of me I can't remember the name, that is like a flash but attaches to the bit. The purpose is to hold the bit up. You can DIY one yourself by using a flash, putting the ends through the bit rings, then running it back up and fastening back up on the top. It does apply some nose pressure when the bit is used.

Wouldn't that make the bit so unable to to move laterally when using a direct, leading rein to one side, as to make it less effective?

You could also try a Micklem bridle with has a similiar effect with the clips. A bit to try is a baucher. Similar to a full cheek with keepers, but a touch more stable.
I'm genuinely unsure as to why a horse would feel better if the bit is pulled up higher into his mouth and held rigidly in place, either with a noseband, or a piece of leather run through the bit. Could being 'fussy mouthed' be an issue of the bit itself?
 

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I agree with the last several posters. I think horses should be allowed to let us know their opinion about bits. When I use a noseband, it is only to enhance the look of the bridle. In my opinion using one to keep a horse from evading, crossing the jaw or expressing displeasure is hiding the problem the horse has with either the bit, the cue or the rider's hands. Or even showing stress, which some horses do through their mouth even when the bit is fine and the rider is soft. I believe forced stillness is the opposite of true relaxation. If a horse gapes and you close the mouth, you can't know if the horse is uncomfortable. He should be allowed to gape so you can see the discomfort and work on the problem. If he needs more stillness in the bit, get him a more stable bit.
 

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I'm genuinely unsure as to why a horse would feel better if the bit is pulled up higher into his mouth and held rigidly in place, either with a noseband, or a piece of leather run through the bit. Could being 'fussy mouthed' be an issue of the bit itself?
The drop noseband removes pressure from the lateral side of the molars, along the cheeks. Helpful for young horses losing their caps. The bit shouldnt be touching the molars, regardless of the bit or noseband style.

Stabilizing with a Worcester noseband shouldn't have much of an effect on lateral rein aids. You wouldn't be pulling the bit away from the face normally anyway. Especially considering the horses who would benefit from this are usually more sensitive and would need quieter rein aids.

If a horse doesnt like a loose bit or they dont like the pressure down on the bars or tongue, having something to support the bit can make them happier. You should first be looking at the bit's mouthpiece and cheek as those have the greatest effect, which it sounds like the op has. Sometimes you get a bit that's pretty good, but adding another stabilizing tool makes it better. It's all up to what the horse goes better in. Then you can also concider the rider. If the rider doesnt have perfect hands, what's better: add a tool to quiet the bit while the rider learns, or make the horse suffer through the rider's learning curve?(not saying anything about OP, just general)

Nosebands aren't all about strapping the mouth shut and ignoring everything. They are a fool and a pretty versatile one. Yea, you get people who do use them to just hide problems. You also have people who use a screwdriver as a hammer. You can use them and fix whatever evasions or tensions are happening.
Nosebands should always be loose enough that there is room for the jaw to mobilize, chew, and even evade or gape to a certain degree. My rule is they should be able to eat a cookie comfortably. When dealing with evasions like gaping, crossing the jaw, or pulling the tongue over the bit, you can use a noseband to make it difficult for those actions to happen. Some might claim that's strapping the mouth shut. Imo, it allows you to remove the wrong option so you can teach them the correct one while preventing or disrupting a habit.
That's probably explained poorly, so an example is my current horse. When he was 4 and just started under saddle, he was very confused about contact. His very first reaction was to stick his tongue over the bit. And it worked, so that's quickly became his response to any contact. I put him into a drop noseband, adjust loose enough that be could eat a cookie comfortably, and ride him in that for a few weeks. He was unable to put his tongue over the bit, so he had to go looking for a new answer to contact. We got him straighten out on what to do, took the noseband off, and never had a problem since.

But honestly, these are two totally different topics. OPs horse isnt evading or having issues with contact. This is a horse who likes a quiet, stable but beyond what they currently have. There is no bad habit to hide or ignore here. It's just a horse with a different preference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The problem lies in the fact that I have tried him in a fully solid mullen mouth bit. I find that he can get confused, and will often stop or slow down when I only touch one rein, because the sides don't move independently. The myler style full cheek with keepers has offered the best stability and communication out of any bit I've tried. He likes the clear communication of the independently rotating sides, but doesn't like the mobility of the traditionally jointed mouthpieces.

The reason why I was leaning toward the drop was because he actually goes really, really well in a kineton. He loves the fact that the kineton holds the mouthpiece stable, and he does do well with nose pressure as I sometimes work him in a flat leather halter.

However, I get trashed by a lot of people who think a kineton is some kind of medieval torture device and would rather not use it to avoid barn controversy. I figured the drop would be the next best thing since it sits at a similar point on the nose, and the Spanish riding school invented it in part to help stabilize the bit on their greenies. I've also considered a bit lifter, but they seem like a bit of a pain to fit.
 

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Have you tried a Billy Allen bit?
Independent sides, stabilized center not a nutcracker action...
Wonder if this might be more comfortable for the horse?
Only thing is I've not seen one with full-cheeks design...
D-ring and O-ring or shanks like a western bit as it is a western bit, however...some of those western bits can be ridden with double reins and if you ride off the snaffle then you're not engaging curb pressure...
From a flat profile to a more rounded profile you have options for palate comfort the horse likes too.
Just a thought.
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My other thought is ignore the barn gossips and do what makes your horse happy and comfortable.
If using something they not understand, that is their issue not yours...
If it makes your horse most relaxed and comfortable then I think that is the ultimate goal...harmony and working together.
🐴...
 

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I recently got a flash noseband for my three year old and LOVE IT! Definitely recommend. I use it on trails mostly, but based on what you're saying I think it could work well for you, too.


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