Jim Wofford wrote an insightful piece a while ago in Practical Horseman on the “mindless application of equipment, regardless of whether it is suitable for this horse at this stage of training.”

What do you think?

He said, “Nosebands are one of my many irritants when coaching.  Almost every horse I see [dressage, eventing] is wearing a flash noseband.  And they are inherently ill-fitting.  These nosebands can interfere with the horse’s normal swallowing mechanism, producing the very resistance they are intended to cure.  Yet when I ask riders whether they have tried other nosebands or even no noseband, they look at me as if I had just stepped down off the ramp of the mother ship.”

I agree with Jim, and routinely ask the riders I teach why they’ve chosen certain tack or training aids.  Often there’s a well-reasoned response.  Other times a shrug -everyone tacks up their horse this way so it must be correct … sigh.

(Jim Woffard is a 3 time U.S. Olympian and World Champion eventer.)

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