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Nosebands: yes, no, maybe and why?

6 years 4 months ago - 6 years 4 months ago #211 by iliane
Nosebands: yes, no, maybe and why? was created by iliane
I found this really interesting article on the site of the German Riding Association (FN) about nosebands.

The basic question is do we need it? If so why and how tight should it be. The article also goes a bit into bidless bridles. I thought it might be helpful to translate and share some of the key points of the article. So here we go:
  • - Noseband should not be too tight. Otherwise it causes pain to the horse. The author says if we try to bite our teeth really hard for a minute, a few minutes or even an hour, it will first make your teeth and cums hurt, then it will make you tighten you jaw muscles, followed by neck muscles and eventually even give you a headache.

  • - No noseband is also not good because the noseband helps to limit the force of the rein. The author says without noseband it's solely the upper and lower jaw musculature of the horse that limits rein force which causes quite a bit of load. while if you use a noseband, part of that force is being put onto the noseband and transferred to the nose, releasing the jaw muscles.

  • - the author then goes into if bitless is better.
    It's a clear NO. Prof. Dr. Hilary Clayton has researched that (article doesn't state what her affiliation is). the noseband on a bridle without bit creates twice as much pressure on the nose bridge than a bitted bridle with super tight noseband!!!!! that means bitless is not horse friendly!!!!!

  • - so what to do to make sure that one has the most horse friendly communication with a horse. the author says the best thing to do is to learn to ride which doesn't mean to only look pretty up there. he says it includes learning about anatomy, physiology. riders need to know (but most don't) that the wrong noseband tightness or wrong fitted bit presses on nerve endings, that the nosebridge gets more and more fragile the closer you get to the nostrils. riders should worry about how reinforce per kg translates to force on the horses mouth. the rider must perfectionize his aids, the right tools in the wrong hands won't solve the problem. without a quiet seat and hand there is no way to time aids correctly which then causes unnecessary force on the rein.

  • - he says two fingers should fit right on top of the nose. if you are still not sure you should make sure that your horse can easily take a piece of sugar which means 15mm min opening space.

~ Iliane

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