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? We use cavesson bitless or with a bit? 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 a bridle with rings on the noseband, whose purpose is to help in training the horse. There are some types of cavessons depending on how the rings are placed: with a Spanish forged noseband (serreta), with a chain with movable links (Kapsun system) or just using D-Rings sewn to the leather (Viena system). This last option is preferred by those who want to bet on a softer system for the horse's muzzle, and thus reduce the pressure. The chain system would be an intermediate method, because it has a metal part inside, but it is articulated and in the case of Marjoman bridles, it has a thick layer of padding to prevent damage from contact.
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.
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.
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 (such as the Oslo model).
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
- 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 to consider when choosing a cavesson, for example, it is interesting to consider that if your horse has a measurement outside the standards, it is possible to order a head that can be made to measure, or customizable if what you are looking for is something different from what is normally offered.
Can I use a cavesson as a bitless bridle?
Thanks to its rings, the cavesson can be used as if it were a bitless bridle. The reins must be attached to the rings located on both sides and it is possible to guide the horse in this way. The force acts directly on the horse's nose and not on the jaw (mandible) like a bit would.
Can I use a cavesson with a bit or a snaffle bit?
It is possible to use a dressage bridle with a a bit. It is only necessary for it to have straps for bit or a cavesson model with headstrap (as in the case of the Carolina model, which can also be fitted with straps for bit and would admit the possibility of being used with both, snaffle bit and bit, at the same time).