Grackles/flashes/drops on youngsters?

marmalade76

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Went to see a friend last week who has a 4 year old arab x pony mare that she is just starting. She is still at the lunging stage and I was quite horrified when she said she was going to put a grackle on her 'cause she had her mouth open all the time. I told her that I thought this was a bit rash and that she ought to give the pony a bit more time to get used to and accept the bit. Also saw a 4 year old pony advertised this morning fitted with a flash.

I really don't like the idea of strapping a youngster's mouth shut and never felt the need to do it myself (not that I've dealt with any youngsters for years!) so my question is at what point do you feel it's acceptable to resort to a drop noseband of any sort and what other options /avenues would you explore first?
 

ihatework

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It's never acceptable to 'strap a horses mouth shut' IMO.
But it is perfectly possibly to use a strap to help stabilise the bit and support a correct contact.
I don't set in stone what to use.
Would usually start out in a loose cavesson but then play with a drop/loose flash as required.
Horses need to be able to open their mouth to some extent. Riders need to be aware that a continual open mouth means there is a problem somewhere and take steps to correct that in their riding/training.
 

Thistle

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It's never acceptable to 'strap a horses mouth shut' IMO.
But it is perfectly possibly to use a strap to help stabilise the bit and support a correct contact.
I don't set in stone what to use.
Would usually start out in a loose cavesson but then play with a drop/loose flash as required.
Horses need to be able to open their mouth to some extent. Riders need to be aware that a continual open mouth means there is a problem somewhere and take steps to correct that in their riding/training.


Agree

My 4 year old cob is using a loosely fitted grackle atm. Started using it after he had wolf teeth removed. It is there to remind him to shut his mouth rather than strap his mouth shut. IMO better to teach him to do things the right way rather than try to fix a problem later. I like grackles (used correctly) because they remove pressure across the teeth that the cavesson part of a flash often creates. The aim is to get him into a cavesson if possible. I may try a Micklem on him. Unfortunately cobs look rather strange in a drop.
 

Nugget La Poneh

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I use a drop noseband and have never had an issue. But it is there to prevent the horse from opening, not completely stop it. You can still see and feel a horse that is not happy in the mouth, the horse is still able to move his tongue, play with the bit etc. but just not learn to get it over. A flash was only designed for if you needed to use a standing martingale, which I don't, and a grackle in theory stops a horse crossing his jaw but I have yet to come a across a horse that does this without a reason so can get round it via other methods.
 

nikkimariet

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It's never acceptable to 'strap a horses mouth shut' IMO.
But it is perfectly possibly to use a strap to help stabilise the bit and support a correct contact.
I don't set in stone what to use.
Would usually start out in a loose cavesson but then play with a drop/loose flash as required.
Horses need to be able to open their mouth to some extent. Riders need to be aware that a continual open mouth means there is a problem somewhere and take steps to correct that in their riding/training.

Well said, agree 100%.
 

JFTDWS

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Meh, my 4 y/old's in a drop. He likes the stability and it stops him biting anything and everything we're passing too...
 

dianchi

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I'm going old school and breaking my 3yo this year in a drop with a full check bit.

Personally I like the stability of using a drop, good thing with a youngster!
 

Tiddlypom

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I may try a Micklem on him. Unfortunately cobs look rather strange in a drop.
Too true! Drop nosebands suit finer heads IMHO. My HW maxicob is in a Micklem, and I have to say that it looks 'normal' on him. I was expecting him to look silly in it.

ETA I'll be starting my 3yo with a Micklem too (she's not a cob). It's a lovely friendly bridle as it keeps everything still and secure.
 
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raspberryripple

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It's never acceptable to 'strap a horses mouth shut' IMO.
But it is perfectly possibly to use a strap to help stabilise the bit and support a correct contact.
I don't set in stone what to use.
Would usually start out in a loose cavesson but then play with a drop/loose flash as required.
Horses need to be able to open their mouth to some extent. Riders need to be aware that a continual open mouth means there is a problem somewhere and take steps to correct that in their riding/training.

This!
 

Fides

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My mare is in a grackle as is doesn't press on her mouth and teeth so she finds it more comfortable. Anything that stabilises the bit in the mouth (including using a hanging cheek)
 
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