Cavesson or sidepull? Why do cavessons have 3 rings?

Art Nouveau

Well-Known Member
27 September 2014
As I've been doing more in-hand work with my mare in her cavesson (the leather wrapped around a chain type) but normally ride her in a Transcend bitless bridle (sidepull with a curb strap so it has two reins) it got me pondering the different mechanisms.

The cavesson has 3 rings across the nose and it's my understanding that the two outer rings are for in-hand work with reins, or long-reining, or you could also ride off them. This got me wondering about the mechanics of the action. Is there a benefit to having the reins attached closer to the front of the nose, instead of at the side of the face which is where they're positioned for sidepull bridles?

I took the side rings off the cavesson as they were annoying my mare by flapping around on her face when I was lunging, so when I longrein I instead clip the reins onto the side of the cavesson where the is a metal link in a sidepull position that I can use. If it's better to use the rings that are further forward then I will replace them but I would be interested in knowing the pros and cons of the two positions :)