When we are introducing ourselves in the amazing world of the horses there are so many questions to answer at the beginning, some of them could be, what is a cavesson? What differences do we find with a bridle? Why are there cavesson bitless bridles? And many others, we have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions about cavessons for horses in this space in order to help you choose the best alternative for your horses:
What is a cavesson?
The cavesson is the noseband of the bridle. There are some types of nosebands and between them you can find the cavesson for your horses. This is the reason why we need to further explain what a noseband is, in order to understand what a cavesson is, and the cavesson noseband purpose.
However, the noseband is the part of the bridle that goes around the horse's nose, and the plain versions on English bridles are called cavessons. The cavesson doesn't attach to the main part of an English bridle, but rather hangs on its narrow cheek pieces that sit beneath the cheek pieces of the headstall of the bridle.
What is a cavesson noseband?
It is interesting to mention that the origin of the word ‘Cavesson’ comes from the French meaning of a nose-band for a horse.
The purpose of the cavesson noseband is simply to keep the bridle attached to the horse, most horses are well suited to a cavesson noseband, and that is very important, because the bridle needs to fit the horse well. Furthermore, there are also more types of nosebands line the Grackle, the drop down and the flash, and each of those types of nosebands are used for different purposes.
When do I have to use a cavesson?
We can use a cavesson for different purposes, depending on the type of cavesson we use. It is really important the position of this cavesson for the different purposes.
Cavessons for horses can be used for different training purposes, for example groundwork (on a single line), work in hand, that consists in walking at the side of the horse in order to train them; longeing (with a single, or double longe line) that can be done with or without side reins, and also riding.
On the other hand, The cavesson is a key tool in order to help us and our horses with straightness training.
There are different nosebands that will fit perfectly for different types of training, for example, we will use different cavesson bridle for training dressage, we could choose also different jumping cavesson, riding cavesson, and we can find also different cavesson for our pony.
In this sense, it is especially important to have into consideration some recommendations for each of the disciplines and the purpose of the cavesson in order to choose your perfect cavesson for your horse.
How does a cavesson work?
Another frequently asked question about cavesson for horses is… how does a cavesson work? The cavesson is intended to keep the straightness of the horse during the training, which means that we will use this tool to teach our horses. The cavesson has been invented to teach our horse to lean, to stop, to position the head and hindquarters correctly, and to make the body and limbs flexible, and, very importantly, without harming the mouth.
In this sense, the cavesson will help us to develop different tendencies in the head and neck: at a standstill, later on, and in movement, which is very important to help the horse relax the body and mind and to stretch to topline muscles.
What is a cavesson used for?
As we have explained before, a cavesson for horses is used for many different reasons, and we can fit the cavesson in different positions depending on how we use the cavesson and why. In this sense, what is a cavesson used for? And how are we going to use a cavesson?
A cavesson is a tool that we can use on our horses during lunging (cavessons bridles for lunging are used in this cases), groundwork and bitless riding (cavesson bitless bridles are used in these cases), among others. The cavesson is frequently used for basic training, but it can also be used for horses that need to be retrained.
All these different cavesson purposes make it a key tool for training horses. And all of this is the reason why it is so important to never forget about the cavesson purpose in order to choose the perfect cavesson for our horses.
How to determine whether the cavesson fits well?
Another frequent questions about cavesson for horses are related to cavesson fitting, and this is because, as we have previously addressed, it is so important to correctly fit the cavesson on our horses. But how can we check the cavesson fitting? How can we make sure the cavesson fits?
The right position of the cavesson noseband should be 2-3 finger below the horse’s cheekbone. Also, the noseband should not be too low on the horse’s nose because it might make it difficult to breathe for them. And finally, it is important that the noseband is fastened with enough space (2 fingers at least) between the horse's nose and the noseband.
Additionally, there are several cavessons that have an anatomical headpiece or straight behind the ears, which helps sensitive horses to feel comfortable with them. However, if you choose to use an anatomical bridle for the comfort of your horse, make sure the headpiece fits well and that the ears have enough freedom to move.
How to make the cavesson fit?
Another frequent question when we choose the cavesson for our horses is how to make the cavesson fit perfectly. Here we describe some advice about how to correctly adjust a cavesson in order to allow a comfortable and effective training.
- Make sure the cavesson don’t twits, turn or does not rise to the eye
- Make sure there are 2 or 3 fingers under the noseband and he cheekbone
- Make sure the noseband does not put on pressure on the sensitive part of the nose of the horse
- Make sure the cavesson is not covering the nose of the horse.
- Make sure the noseband is not too tight, but it needs to be tight enough so it does not slide over the nose during the training.
There are these and many other considerations when choosing a cavesson, for example, we will not choose the same bridle cavesson for a pony than for other types of horses, because this type of cavesson will need to fit differently because of the size.
Different types of cavessons and how to choose a cavesson for your horse
As we have explained before, a bridle can go with a bridle cavesson cavesson and it can go without the cavesson. But there are also many other questions when deciding to buy a bridle, for example are we going to go for a cavesson bridle with flash? Are we going for a cavesson bridle without flash?
In this sense, in order to choose a cavesson bridle for our horses we will have to ask ourselves several questions, between them, it is better to use a cavesson or a flash noseband?? And when will we have to use a cavesson with martingale? In this sense, we are going to explain some differences between different types of cavessons:
- Cavesson flash bridle: The cavesson bridle with flash is a type of cavesson that is commonly used when the horse is evading the contact with the human, in this sense, we can add a flash attachment in our cavesson bridle, in order to help the horses, keep stiller in the contact.
- Cavesson dressage bridles: There are some specific characteristics for this kind of bridle, as comfort features, such as soft padding on the noseband, browband and crownpiece. Some color or sparkle is occasionally added to a dressage bridle, contrasting padding or piping on the noseband and browband, or using a browband embellished with crystals, simple metal insets, or beads.
- Jumping and riding cavesson: Horses that must jump or gallop hard may be better off in a figure eight noseband than a flash noseband. That's why this type of noseband is often seen on racehorses.
- Lunging cavesson: a lunge cavesson or cavesson bridle for lunging are a type of heavy bridle, which lacks a bit and has a thick noseband fitted with rings to which a lunge rein may be attached.
- cavesson bitless bridle: which are cavessons that controls the animal without using a bit.
What is an anatomical cavesson bridle from uk?
As we have mentioned before, the basic version of a noseband on English bridles are called cavessons. In this sense, when we talk about an anatomical bridle cavesson bridle from Uk we are referring to anatomical cavesson English bridle. This kind of cavessons from UK are anatomically designed to relieve pressure on ears of the horse, which make it very comfortable for them and for the rider.
But when do we need to use an anatomical cavesson bridle (Uk Bridle)? The answer is easy when we need a British style bridle (called cavesson) and we also want our horse to feel comfortable, because we must remember that a well-fitting bridle is essential for the training of any horse, and comfort in this sense will be the key for our horse to be pleasant to work with.
When do we use lunge line cavesson and side reins?
Generally when a bridle is used the cavesson and lunge line is hooked on the inner ring of the bit. The use of a lunge strap is now considered obsolete and undesirable. A good alternative is to use a well-fitting cavesson.
On the other hand Running side reins are also often used for training in the circle. The aim is to do gymnastics and exercise, since the horse leans on the auxiliary reins and finds a support and can strengthen with bar work.
When to use a cavesson with a ring?
Depending on the model, a bridle cavesson is provided with one or three rings on the noseband. The lunge rope is secured to the center ring. One of the main advantages of this central ring is that it is not required to disengage the cavesson and lunge line when you change reins. The reins can be attached to the two side rings.
What is a cavesson martingale and when do we use it?
A martingale is a piece of equipment used in a wide range of equestrian disciplines to keep a horse from tossing its head in the air. In this sense, it helps to protect the rider from blows to the face and stops the horse from raising its head beyond the angle at which it can be safely restrained.
We could say that there are two kinds of martingales: the " standing martingale" which is a trap that connects a cavesson or noseband at one end to the girth or bib at the other; and the running martingale. Discover more info about our martingales in this link.