There have been many studies which show how a tight nose band can place a painful amount of pressure on the nerves and delicate bones in the horse’s head. However, despite this, some trainers and riders still believe that using the noseband to keep a horse’s mouth closed will make a horse ride better as it stops them fighting which means they then concentrate more on the riders aids.
Many people think that if a horses mouth is shut and quiet then the horse is riding well. But a quiet mouth should be the result of good training and keeping it artificially closed with a noseband shouldn’t be used as shortcut. The horses jaw and tongue should be as free and supple as the rest of the body and more importantly these structures tie into the efficient movement of the rest of the body. If you create tension here then you will only create tension somewhere else.
The Hyoid bone which links into the tongue, also links into muscles that are involved in the movement of the horse’s forelegs so by creating tension here you will restrict the range of movement in your horse’s forelimbs. An equine dissection also revealed that when pressure was applied to the jaw causing the hyoid bone at the base of the tongue to move up and/or back in the jaw, this left the hind legs and hips extremely restricted. As soon as pressure was released, the leg and hip was then freely moved again.
So when our horse opens his mouth, we need to ask what they are communicating to us, and work out how to release tension and improve their their balance and suppleness, not silence them with a flash or tighter noseband. Our horses voice can only be heard by those willing to listen.
I can't help but wonder if our horses even need to wear a noseband at all, particularly when training, apart from the fact that they look good on some horses. Has it just become the norm that a ridden horse has a noseband on at all times?
I'm interested to hear from anyone who rides either with a loose or tight noseband or without a noseband at all and the reasoning behind your choice.
For pole work clinics, ideas, information sharing and more, check out Sara's FB group Poll Position Equestrian Coaching
Do you relate to this scenario? I'm sitting at home on a Sunday evening after a great weekend with my pony, feeling slightly disheartened that I've got to go back to work on Monday morning. So, what's the best way to cheer myself up? Sitting in front of the TV watching some mindless nonsense whilst scrolling through online tack shops on my laptop, of course!
This is the time when my inner shopaholic takes control and decides that her pony needs just about everything for sale on equine websites. “Another bridle…well it never hurts to have a spare (or five)” or alternatively “We don’t have that colour saddle pad…better be safe and get that too.” Before I know it my pony has been gifted a whole new wardrobe, whilst my own wardrobe looks drab by comparison. I would even go so far as to say that my pony, on occasion, has been better dressed than the likes of Kate Moss.
I’m not sure what it is about ‘horse stuff’ that just gets our equestrian hearts racing as we look for yet another item to dress our horse in. I certainly can’t criticise...if anything I am the pioneer for ridiculous online purchases for my pony. In fact the other week I bought a very nice pair of tendon and fetlock boots, the only thing is, I haven’t jumped in about 4-5 years…and have no plans to return to that discipline, but hey, you never know…right?
As a result, I have a horsebox and tack room crammed full of things for my pony, so much so I could probably open my own Tack Shop as a spur of the moment business venture. So that New Year Resolutions for saving money, well, when it comes to my horse…it's forgotten about. I don’t think I will ever be able to shake or resist the lure of buying things for my horse.
Perhaps the only solution is to make a resolution that I have to sell or re-home an item from my equine stash before I indulge the urge to buy something new. Although this would put myself into a ‘Mexican Standoff’ as I find throwing away items from my equine hoard just as hard as resisting the lure of purchasing yet another rug!
I have now come to the realization that my pony (who is now 20 years old) probably won’t be alive long enough to use her several hundred saddle pads, rugs and bridles! That’s when you know the perils of online shopping for ‘horse stuff’ has well and truly bitten you.
I would love to know about your spur of the moment equine retail therapy purchases or ‘guilty pleasure’ items that you can’t resist buying for your horse or pony.
Katy's novel, Forever Amber, is available to buy now. It is the true story about her mare, who she's owned for 10 years, who broke her leg followed by several life threatening illnesses. It was a huge journey... Amber is truly inspirational, she never stopped fighting.
An agreed percentage of the proceeds from each sale of both the e-book and printed edition is being donated to the British Horse Society in aid of protecting, expanding and maintaining bridle paths across the UK.
Black Friday is here again and a great opportunity to pick up some equestrian bargains! These are just a few I've found so far...
If you spot any good deals then please post them on the www.troton.com home page with hashtag #BlackFriday2016
Tattini Altea Close Fit Black Breeches
RRP: £130 – NOW: £19.99!
Size : Come up small, I would go a size up.
Style: Amazing fit and look great!
Quality: Comfy, sturdy, all day wear breeches
Tattini Tamigi Unisex Bomber Jacket Red
(also available in brown, blue and black)
RRP: £67.20 –NOW: £12.99!
Size: True to size
Style: Amazing, lovely colour not too bright but not dull
Quality: Great quality, very warm
Tattini Ladies Diagonal Contrast Show Shirt
RRP: £74.99 –NOW: £11.99!
Size: True to size
Style: So stylish, looks smart
Quality: Great quality, stretchy material, breathable
P2 Pro Air Vest
(Thirteen colours to choose from!)
RRP: £420.00 –NOW: £294.00!
It is worth checking out Naylor's Equestrian too. They are having a Black Friday COUNTDOWN with savings on different items, changing daily.
And don't forget Amazon, not an obvious choice for equestrian shopping, but there will be plenty of Black Friday deals available.
Let us know what bargains you find! #BlackFriday2016
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