Nosebands - Restrains

      How do you increase people's interest in success? By lowering the standards of the success. How do you get rid of failure? By renaming it to success, and rewarding it? Since the concept of right and wrong is given by people in this age, where God is ignored, it becomes fairly easy to do most of the things right, since all we need to do is to rename the wrong thing and wrong doings to right things and right doing.
     It is an old, or better said, ancient statement that seems to sum this up; "the concept of good and evil differs even among the gods". And so, to argue about what is right or wrong is just plain stupid and useless and only fools argue about it. The wise man listens to God (not to a preacher) and the fool makes up his own rules as it suits him, or is subjected to the powers that be and is forced or manipulated into accepting the criteria on good and evil given by the law/rules, which in reality is all about controlling and exploiting the "We The People", and never about any truth, let alone good or evil.
    Be aware of what you are doing and of what is happening and then the truth of it will become self-evident, no need for any judgment.

In the past the nosebands served primarily for tying up bridled horses to some pole, tree, rail or such.

This is a common response of the horse to the bit if the horse either did not accepted this bit or the rider has simply lousy hands. This is often accompanied by the open mouth, hence the use of the nosebands. This horse has the regular noseband.

The picture above and below shows the Hanoverian noseband that can be used in two fashions, above the bit as the regular noseband or below the bit as the so-called dropped noseband.

This so-called flash noseband is nothing more but two nosebands in one totally shutting the horse's mouth. In short if one noseband does not do the job we can use two of them to prevent the horse from expressing itself, lest the fools look their part showing off their poor and irresponsive hands on the horse.

Eventually the mouth will get so irresponsive that we have to use more drastic measures, like adding the curb, or even adding the flash noseband to the curb because we can no longer control the horse.
The more severe or restraining gadgets on the riding horse the worse the rider! The addition of the flash noseband to the curb, let alone to the double bridle in dressage, could not present more brutality if one would try, but women can find a way to justify it and make it all look pretty, while presenting this horror to some music and calling it dancing. Talking about women and cruelty to horses they claim to love.

If you need more than this on your horse's head you pretty much have either poor hands or poorly trained horse or both, and that goes for all riding disciplines. This will allow the horse to express itself to the rider's hand, which then may or may not refine the rider in return!
People rode horses equipped like this on the battle fields!
The chin strap is not a restraining gadget, but rather serves to keep the bit in place and from "flopping".
The horse's mouth will be responsive to the rider's hand only as much as the rider's hand is responsive to the horse!
Hence the hard hand is not a hand that pulls hard but a hand that is irresponsive to the horse.
And so if anyone says that he uses the reins very lightly (very light contact and such), he or she is pretty much saying that he or she has very lousy hand that is incapable to relate to the animal and its movement.
In short, nincompoops talk like that!

   Now, when this is out of the way I would like to present the use of nosebands (also called cavesons) in riding.

    First and above all a noseband is a restrain, and so it hardly fits into some theory of riding in harmony, or into some theory of riding free moving and willing horse.
   The sole purpose of any noseband is to restrain the freedom of the lower jaw of the horse when riding it, or in simple terms preventing, or at least limiting, the opening of the horse's mouth/lower jaw by literally tying it to the upper jaw. Needless to say that his completely contradicts the concept of a "supple jaw".

     Therefore, if a proper terminology would be used we should call the noseband a nose-bind or nose-bond, because that is what we are doing when using it, binding/bonding the lower jaw of the horse to the upper one. Needles to say that when we use the term band, many silly women think it may be for decorative purposes, and I am not exaggerating. (Noun bond - A restraint that confines or restricts freedom (especially something used to tie down or restrain a prisoner)).
Today many women in the equestrian world see the noseband as some part of the riding "attire" of the horse, like the so-called "flash noseband" is, and so every jerk is using it, since the people at the top are doing it (monkeys see monkeys do). When they get more "advanced" they use it purely as a restrain, hence they become worse the longer they ride, obviously.

   Since women took over the equestrian world the tack and equipment for riding horses has multiplied several times, and became more of some fashion trend than anything else. Please click here for the Wiki's presentation of nosebands, which sort of reminds me of a shoe store for women in all its fairly useless but brutal varieties, not to mention all the senseless and silly justification for using them.

      In the old days the nosebands were primarily used for tying horses up to something like a pole or rail, as no fool would tie a horse up by the bit, the latter often seen in the silly western movies. In some cases in the military the nosebands were used for the so-called "tie downs" that restrained the horse's free movement of its head by the lesser riders, or by the inadequately trained horses.
    One must realize that most of the riders in the formal militaries were not decent riders, as some folks may presume; hence the use of various retrains like the "tie downs". One should also point out that the riding and use of horses differed according to the various environments and cultures, as well as the different type of horses used for riding and for the military.

     When I was young I have never seen anyone using the tie down till I came here to the states, where it was primarily used in the "western riding". What became immediately self-evident, when riding with this contraption, that these horses in most cases did not accept the bit, hence could not accept the rider's hands.
    To prevent the horse from objecting or refusing the hand aid of an inadequate rider (demonstrated it by the horse picking its head up) the tie down was added to the rider's equipment. It just feels totally horrible to any rider that has any hands on the horse, and it is as irritating to a rider as if a musician would play on a piano that is not tuned, but then again if one is tone-deaf it would not matter.

     In any case, all the retrains like the tie-downs or martingales, draw reins and nosebands serve only to one purpose, which is to limit or restrain the horse's movement whenever the horse is responding to the inadequate rider. In these cases the poor riding can be masked, especially if we restrain not only the free movement of the horse's head, but mainly if we can control the horse's head, and by throwing the animal of balance we get the animal to move where we want it to go.
    Of course one will never learn how to actually ride a horse when using any types of restrains, since the horse can no longer move freely and educate the rider by expressing its discontent with the rider's incompetence.

     As much as one needs the freedom of speech to express himself, the horse needs freedom in his movement to express itself. The relationship between the rider and his horse, when using any kind of restrains, can be compared to a marriage where the man keeps the woman from expressing herself, and where is any harmony, let alone willingness found in that?
   What kind of relationship one can have where one has the freedom of speech and the other does not? Isn't this clear case of oppression? The words law and freedom go as much together as restrains and freedom, or literally handcuffs and freedom. Can we get more stupid than this?

     And so, the nosebands serve primarily to control/limit the freedom of movement of the horse's head during motion, thus influencing the animal's balance to which the horse must readjust in order to prevent fall or misstep.
    Yes, this is how absurd and fairly crude the riding of horses is when riding the horse's head as just about all riders do. Of course if the bottom jaw of the horse is free, the horse can help itself, to only some extent, from being thrown off balance, by opening its lower jaw.
    The free lower jaw gives the horse some play (allowance) between the rider's hands and the horse's balance and motion. It is pretty much the same as having some play in the steering wheel in the car, as most cars have. If you understand why we need the play in the steering wheel, you may now understand why a rider needs the free and supple jaw of the horse in order to ride the animal.
    (In reality it would be best compared to a clutch, but since most folks today did not drive a stick they wouldn't have any clue what I am talking about. On the other hand folks that used clutch when driving will know well that if there is not enough play in that clutch the car moves jerky every time we shift gears and it is the same by the horse when not having free and supple jaw. And so as much as it is more difficult to smoothly shift gears in a car with a clutch that lacks a certain play (allowance) so it is more difficult for the rider to do the transitions with the horse, especially the downward transitions.)

     Once the lower jaw is tied to the upper jaw via the noseband, this play is eliminated (or fairly limited depending on how tight the noseband is) and so the rider's hand can now more effectively influence the horse's balance, since the bit is literally almost tied to the head.
   The riding of a horse is all about the head to most people that ride horses, even in the past it was that way in most cases, because people simply cannot learn how to ride during their entire lifetime, since most simply have no clue what is happening. In short, most people (99.999%) ride horses via the horse's heads by manipulating the horse's balance via interfering with it. For this reason the nosebands were often used, especially in the modern times, where it is more prevalent than ever before.

    When I was young there were only two types of nosebands, one was just plain noseband, called just that, a "noseband", and the other was the "Hanoverian noseband". Of course today they call something else the Hanoverian noseband, but the naming of nosebands is not important, as opposed to the use and the purpose of them should be noted.

     The regular noseband was commonly used in dressage to limit the horse's opening of its mouth when educating for the more severe aid like the curb bit in the higher levels. It was supposed to be fairly loose, as one should fit at least two fingers between the noseband and the two (ridges) bones of the lower jaw of the horse. In addition to this these nosebands were used for similar purpose in the carriage horses and such, mostly however fairly loose.

    The Hanoverian noseband differed from the regular noseband by the metal rings connecting parts of the noseband. This allowed this noseband to be used in two fashions, above the bit as the regular noseband, and below the bit as the so-called "dropped noseband". In short there was no such thing as a "dropped noseband" as it is today, but it was the Hanoverian noseband that was dropped below the bit if one chose to do so.

     As professional rider I had to work not only in various equestrian industries but also for many other trainers, and so it was often not up to me what kind of equipment I could use. From my experiences with the dropped noseband I have simply this to say: "There is no way that people using drop nosebands, or any related jaw restriction, can have any feelings in their hands".
    If these people would have any feelings in their hands they would feel that the horse's mouth/jaw will become much less responsive once the horse adjusts itself to such nosebands, while to a decent rider it feels literally as if the reins would be tied to some pole.
   Needless to say that most horses when first time subjected to dropped nosebands will present obvious objections, especially to the rider's hands. For this reason the draw reins are being used, or martingales and such. In short, to educate a horse for riding purposes today is not at all about refining the animal for riding purposes, but it is primarily about making the horse less responsive to the rider. A genuinely refined horse would be almost impossible to sell in this day and age, since people can't ride horses.

    And so the purpose of training riding horses is to make them less responsive and more tolerant of the lesser riders, while teaching them to go off some riding cues rather than off the rider. Please keep in mind a simple fact that a horse trained to work off riding cues will become uncontrollable under extreme situations, because in fear horses do not respond at all to any cues.
    This is why no decent riders train horses to some riding cues, in which case they can then control the animal under extreme situations, as opposed to a horse trained to respond to the riding cues where it only needs to spook from something and many become uncontrollable, often bucking, spinning or running off.

     It would be also prudent to mention that horses "pull", and often run off or buck, because they are off balance and feel that they will fall down. This feeling is what motivates the horse to move forward faster, as if to catch its own balance, since it feels that it will fall down on its face.
   Ironically this is how the jockeys today ride most racehorses, by climbing up on the horse's necks, with reins often behind the ears of the horse, simply throwing the animal of balance. One does not need to be surprised why so many are literally stressed and often act like lunatics when ridden in high speeds. The so-called good horses will learn to run like this, and win races like this, but they will fairly shortly break down as most racehorses do in these days.

    Suffices to say that the racing industry, just like the rest of equine industries, blames the breaking down of horses on everything else but people's incompetence, especially that of the riders/jockeys. The latest excuse was the footing, and of course by changing the footing, which did not caused the injuries to the racehorses, to some synthetic footing, they end up injuring even more horses.

    Because horses are ridden off balance by most riders, many horses will learn to pull, especially in dressage, and for this reasons the dressage people must use all these kinds of restrains like nosebands and amplified aids like curbs and spurs in order to get done the circus stuff they call dressage.

    In conclusion keep in mind that any rider today that uses any kind of restrains and/or amplified aids is simply and indisputably incompetent, uncouth and mostly crude to the animal. This is not to say that people that do not use any of these are decent riders, but at least most of those qualify as considered.

    Please keep in mind that if you wish to learn how to ride from a horse, you have to have one that is suitable for riding purposes. One of the most common faults in this age is the use of front-end heavy horses, like many of the warmbloods are, not to mention cold bloods that are all extremely front heavy. Horses like this will teach you only bad habits, among which is the hanging in the horse's mouth, because most will tolerate it.

    One could say that the rider's hand is as good as the head equipment he uses, the more gadgets the worse the rider or the horse, or both.

    The practical use for nosebands in riding horses is so rare and so there is no need for mentioning it, lest one will find an excuse or justification for using them.


Written by Ludvik K Stanek a.k.a Lee Stanek (2010)