What's the purpose of a cavesson noseband?

Pippity

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The RDA pony I exercise doesn't wear a noseband when he's doing RDA work. With the headcollar underneath, it all gets a bit clunky. There's a cavesson noseband on the hook with his bridle, but I never bother sticking it on when I'm exercising him.

Now, I've always been under the impression that a properly-fitted cavesson is purely there for the look of it but I've been getting disapproving comments from some liveries at the yard. The best reason they can come up with is that he shouldn't get used to working without a noseband, but it's got me wondering if there is a reason I should be using it.

The people actually in charge of the pony have no issue with me riding him without a noseband, btw, and I certainly don't need any more control on him. I'm just trying to figure out if it's purely people being interfering or if a cavesson does make any difference.
 

bonny

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It doesn't make any difference and I wouldn't bother with it if you're not using it for the RDA work. People are just used to seeing bridles with nosebands but the horse won't care either way. My horses are ridden without nosebands.
 

Pippity

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That's good to know! Especially as I'm so out of practice at bridling that an extra strap to deal with would probably add another ten minutes to whole thing.
 

HaffiesRock

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My pony doesn't wear a noseband either. If fact i've just bought one for in hand showing and that's the only time i'll put it on him as I am lazy when it comes to tack!
 

Enfys

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Aesthetic - to break up a long head, can do a lot for a big headed horse if the width is correct.

Practical - you need something to hang a standing martingale on :) or those godawful flash straps. Of course then if it is a crank (still a cavesson when all is said and done) then you can winch it up and hold the jaw shut - nice. Popular with dressagey types, possibly not so popular with their poor horses ;)
 

scheherazade

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I'm sure I read somewhere that it was originally invented to prevent the horse breaking its jaw if it fell over cos it couldn't have the mouth hanging wide open? But I could have imagined that...
 

Tammytoo

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I'm sure I read somewhere that it was originally invented to prevent the horse breaking its jaw if it fell over cos it couldn't have the mouth hanging wide open? But I could have imagined that...
I think I read that somewhere as well!

Nowadays it's simply cosmetic and I only use one for the showring. No point in having more weight on your horse's head than necessary.
 

mandwhy

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I thought it was for if doing XC or something, the horse can't have its mouth wide open and potentially break its jaw if it takes a tumble?

I hardly ever use a noseband on mine, I found mine and put it on the other week but had it stupidly loose, it just doesn't seem to sit right, useful if you've forgotten a headcollar though, I had to use one chasing after a random loose horse in the road, I didn't want to shove the whole bridle on (didn't fancy my chances while the thing galloped around anyway) and had nothing else! Think it'll get lost in the car again now!

Just ignore people, I should think RDA ponies are about as well behaved as you can get!
 
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I'm sure I read somewhere that it was originally invented to prevent the horse breaking its jaw if it fell over cos it couldn't have the mouth hanging wide open? But I could have imagined that...
You haven't imagined it - they were invented to stop horses breaking their lower jaws during falls where the lower jaw 'dug' into the ground (think of how many horses were in the cavalry and had to charge at speed, plus racehorses etc...).
 

Deseado

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Must say I've never heard that (the breaking jaw thing), and it sounds pretty unlikely from a mechanical point of view - look at all the jump racehorses who don't wear one and you don't see them breaking their jaws. Nosebands have come into and out of fashion many times, just look at old hunting & racing prints.
 

hnmisty

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Must say I've never heard that (the breaking jaw thing), and it sounds pretty unlikely from a mechanical point of view
I was going to say something similar- and surely a cavesson doesn't do much for keeping their jaw closed- that's more the job of a flash noseband. Although it does sound a useless enough idea that someone did invent them for that purpose, just like all the other archaic methods (such as firing) that don't do anything (positive, at least), but at least this idea was less harmful!
 
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