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Nosebands all around

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Nosebands come in many shapes and sizes, each have a different influence on your horse. Not every noseband is suitable for your horse, but how do you know which one is the right pick for your horse? A low noseband, cavesson, figure eight cavesson, or a flash cavesson? It’s easy to get overwhelmed if you don’t know what to look for. Stay calm and read on to find the ideal noseband for your horse. We’ve highlighted several must have bridles with different nosebands to paint a clear picture for you and help you make the right choice.

First and foremost: always make sure you can fit two fingers between nose band and nose. A nose band should never be tightened to the max. A nose band that is too tight can have nasty consequences. 

All of the nosebands described are allowed during competitions. Be sure to check out our range of nosebands, if you prefer to try separate nosebands first rather than buying a whole new bridle. A comprehensive list of basic examples can be found at the bottom of this blog entry.
In order to pick the right noseband it is important to understand what its purpose is. Every noseband has a different influence. Some are meant to support you in bringing your horse’s head down, whilst others focus on bit stability in the horse’s mouth. Additionally, there are nosebands which are purely aesthetic, but there are also those that prevent the horse from opening the mouth too far which gives the rider more control over the horse’s actions. 

Drop noseband
The drop noseband is a noseband that is most commonly used. It runs over the bit and is positioned on the lower part of the nose. The drop noseband protects the horse rather than the rider as it is a tool for riders with an unstable hand. Because the noseband runs over the bit it tightens the bit’s positioned, thus preventing movement of the bit. Mind that the bit rings should have freedom to move still as such a drop noseband should only be used with a snaffle bit. The nose band should be positioned on the bony part of the nose. Don’t position it too low (on the softer tissue) as this part of the nose is very sensitive and it might also interfere with the horse’s breathing. 

Bridle Epplejeck Frodo is a deluxe bridle that has a drop noseband with shiny patent leather and silver fittings and costs €84,95. If you’re not a fan of patent leather check out the QHP bridle Ziva instead. This bridle has an extra drop noseband with soft padding and a slightly cut back headpiece. The QHP bridle Ziva costs €99,95. 

Flash noseband
The flash noseband is often used as well. Traditionally, this is an English cavesson with a flash strap that runs below the bit. The noseband has no direct contact with the bit and has a stable fit thanks to the flash strap. Both noseband and flash strap need two-fingers of wiggle room. More often than not these type of nosebands are tightened to the extent that it restricts the horse’s freedom in the mouth too much and its breathing. The noseband has a crank strap, but it should not be used to literally crank it tight. Thanks to the combination of noseband and flash strap the chances of your horse opening its mouth or throwing its tongue over the bit are slim to none. It is important that both bands are adjusted correctly and offer enough freedom of movement for the horse. The upper nose band should be position about two fingers below the cheekbone. 
Bridle Epplejeck Joe is a hip bridle from our own collection which has a flash noseband. It has elegant, contrasting stitching and a hanging brow band as well as a cut back headpiece. The bridle costs only €64,95. We love it! However, if you like patent leather you could try the BR Bridle Kingston, a deluxe, softly padded bridle with patent leather details for €162,95. 

Plain nose band
The plain noseband or English cavesson is often used with Weymouth bridles. Compared to the others, this nose band gives the horse the most freedom of movement in the mouth, because it is positioned rather high. The nose band runs under the gag cheeks and should be positioned about two fingers under the cheekbone. 

Epplejeck offers you several Weymouth bridles to choose from. For example, the Weymouth bridle Epplejeck Dublin; this is a round sewn bridle with patent leather look and luxurious brow band adorned with rhinestones. Available for €99,95. Another option is the Weymouth bridle Anky, which is a chic, softly padded, round sewn bridle also with patent leather. This bridle costs €249,95.
A separate plain nose band is available as well: the nose band Epplejeck Bonfire English, which is an extra wide, softly padded crank noseband available for €22,95. 

Figure eight cavesson
The figure eight cavesson is often used with jumping. In essence, this nose band is a crossed flash nose band. As it is made from a single piece of leather it is extremely stable and doesn’t move. When adjusted correctly the horse will only feel the pressure on the nasal bone and below the jaw should it open its mouth. Because of this the nose band is particularly useful with horses who tend to open their mouth which causes loss of control, but also with horses which have a sensitive nose. The nose band is often used with eventing or jumping, because it does not restrict the airways. 

Bridle Epplejeck Santana is a bridle from our own collection. It has a deluxe brow band with rhinestone inlay and the nose band has a fur lining. The bridle is available in brown or black for €59,95. 

Other nose bands
In addition to the nose bands mentioned above there are two more worth mentioning. The double noseband and the Rambo Micklem bridles. The double nose band combines a drop noseband with a plain noseband. The combination results in even pressure distribution and increased comfort for your horse. On top of that it also ensures a stable bit in the mouth.
Bridle Harry’s Horse Double Nose Band is available at Epplejeck for €69,95. New in our collection is the BR bridle Bath. The Bridle has a flash cavesson which combines the functions of a lower and higher nose band which makes the bridle especially suitable for strong horses. This bridle is available in brown and black for €154,95.

The Rambo Micklem Bridle is a different story; it is designed to comfortable fit the shape of the horse’s skull and to avoid pressure on sensitive areas. We’ll dive deeper into this in another blog. 

Which noseband suits you and your horse best is not easy to determine. Your horse might not respond the way you’d expect to a certain design. Don’t give up, but try to figure out what works best for the both of you. Thankfully, Epplejeck sells separate nose bands as well so you can give several designs a try: 

Flash nose band:
Noseband Epplejeck Riolacquer
Noseband Epplejeck Stockholm 
Figure Eight cavesson:
Figure eight cavesson Epplejeck 
Click here for an overview of all nose bands. 

Let us know which nose band you use and why!

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