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Icelandic Horse Connection

The Leveller (Leveler) NoseBand

This noseband is also known as the "controller" noseband. It is a severe noseband. It combines the action of a dropped noseband (the normal low noseband type) which closes the horse's mouth, and also puts pressure on the horse's poll. The grackle (figure eight) noseband, also closes the horse's mouth, along with stopping any sideways movement of the jaws. It also makes it harder to put the tongue above the bit.

On the controller, the two straps under the nose help to keep the horse's mouth closed and still. The band over the nose may be reinforced with metal to make it stronger (more painful).

The most severe and worse thing about the noseband is the rider'ss little knowledge of it. A horse that keeps avoiding the bit with opening his mouth may be in pain because of teeth problems, damage to the bars or tongue, badly fittd bit (too small or too big bit would be equally painful-). Or the rider just doesn't know how to use his hands, and pulling and damaging the horse's mouth.

So generally, if there is so much problem with the horse opening his mouth that a "controller" seems to be needed, try to find out why there is a problem. Avoid this noseband, and as well, the figure eight should be avoided.

Every rider should aim to control their horse with a simple bit and a correctly fitted cavesson noseband (the cavesson has no action on the horse what so ever if correctly fitted and without the standing martingale).

Why is this type of noseband allowed for the Iceland Pony?

The use of ANY metal on the noseband of bronc halter has been outlawed in professional rodeo since the first "humane" rules were promulgated by the RCA and IRA in the 1960s.

More information about nosebands:

Gerhard Kapitzke on Nosebands

Nosebands, Cavessons

The Noseband Affects Breathing

leveller, leveler, severe noseband


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