Not a Crutch!

Two weeks ago I took my drop noseband to the leather shop to have the crownpiece shortened. It was stretching out so much, I couldn't keep it from obstructing Guinness' nostrils. I had a few days of riding and a lesson to face without the "magic" noseband that had helped Guinness and I develop a relationship with contact and working "on the bit."

I was really worried.

Without the band of leather acting on his nose, would my horse return to his head flinging, back hollowing, tuned out ways? I readied myself for some rough rides, dug up the regular cavesson from my bridle, borrowed a flash strap just in case, and set out to ride.

He's even handsome with a regular noseband!
And? Guinness was perfect. He readily took contact, and worked up over his back. He softly mouthed the bit, and was happy. I was able to make corrections when he got too heavy or came above the bit during schooling, and he readily accepted the corrections and got right back to work. He never used to do that in a regular cavesson.

The first ride wasn't a fluke, either. He was mouth-perfect in my lesson, as well. He stayed soft in my hands, and ready to take contact.

He even worked up a good amount of happy-mouth foam!
The verdict? My drop noseband experiment seems to have been a good one, and yet the tool has not developed into a crutch. I've switched back into the drop, as I still feel it's a great piece of equipment for us. However, it feels great to know that it just helped my horse and I reach a better understanding of contact, and isn't necessary forever!


  1. Yes exactly! Using tools for what they are and not as crutches. Well done!

  2. Replies
    1. Yes they are! Even when they make you look like you tripped and fell right out of the 70s. ;)

  3. You know that you've used a tool correctly when you can survive without it. Good job!

    1. Thanks! I was honestly beating myself up about having to rely on the noseband, but I'm so happy it's worked out!


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