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Why Use A Flash Noseband?

Posted by Sarah Crampton on

As with all pieces of tack and equipment for horses, you must consider each individual horse's needs, temperament, and training. However, there are some guidelines that can help you decide if a flash noseband is a good option for your equine partner. There is a definite purpose behind the design of each piece of tack, and this can help you decide if the flash noseband is suitable for your horse.

When you think about it, it's amazing that the horse will accept a foreign object, the metal bit, in his mouth. As responsible equestrians, we are obligated to be sure the horse is comfortable with the bit. Acceptance of the bit is essential to the horse’s comfort while we direct him through the reins when we ride and train. The bit will be the most comfortable for the horse if he keeps his mouth closed, so that his mouth stays moist and doesn't dry out. Some horses accept the bit easily, and others do not. 

Allegedly, the flash noseband was made in the 1800s by a stable hand for King George III to help control his horse named Bold Flash. The design of the flash noseband combines a regular cavesson with an extra strap of leather attached to the center of it that goes down around and in front of the bit. The flash noseband is used for the purpose of encouraging the horse to hold the bit and gently chew on it to create saliva while keeping his mouth closed and his mouth moist. It will also help to stabilize the bit in his mouth. The lower flash piece in front of the bit does not interfere with the action of the bit when applying the reins. It discourages evasion of the action of the bit, thereby increasing control. It is used primarily with a variety of snaffle bits.

How do you adjust the flash noseband? It is important that the upper wider noseband piece lies reasonably close to the cheek bones, so that the nasal passages are still clear to allow proper breathing. Adjusted properly, the lower flash attachment shouldn't pull the upper part of the noseband down. Both pieces should be adjusted to allow 2 fingers underneath, to ensure the horse can still chew. Tightening it too much would be cruel, cause your horse discomfort, and completely negate the reason to use a flash.

Some trainers will use a flash noseband on young horses, when they are introducing the bit and starting them under saddle to ensure the young horse doesn't get his tongue over the bit, or cross his jaw, and to encourage holding the bit quietly. It can also discourage an older horse from the same issues.

When to use a flash noseband? The flash noseband is extremely popular for dressage horses that go through many levels of training to develop complete acceptance of the bit while engaging the reins to achieve collection. The flash noseband has proven to be a valuable training tool, and an accepted noseband in jumping, dressage and eventing competitions. It is not used in the hunter ring, or various English pleasure or equitation classes. As with all pieces of horse tack and equipment, the success of using it is in the hands of the rider. Literally.

View all Grewal Equestrian English Bridles with Flash nosebands here -

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