Icelandic Horse Connection

The Noseband Affects Breathing

This is a clinic report from one of our members:

We're just back from day one of the bitting clinic with Dave Elliott.

Day one consisted of 6 hours of classroom discussion supported by examples and why bits worked the way they did and what small differences can cause. Fascinating....

Anyway, don't get this guy started on nose bands .... PERIOD. Someone in the class mentioned dropped nosebands and I think I noticed a vein pop in his head ;).

He said anyone using a noseband specifically to tie a bit into that mouth was NOT using any form of 'horsemanship' whatsoever. Not only are you closing the airway externally, the tongue in attempting to get relief from pressure, can move up into the soft palate and block it from the inside as well. Plus, Icelandics moving with their noses out, have basically learned to cope by bracing the bit against their teeth...and that's exactly what it creates .... a brace. All the wrong muscles are used and developed. That underside of the neck begins to expand. The horse is basically ridden upside down.

If you are considering hiring a trainer that suggests tying a mouth shut....that trainer trains by intimidation and not by communication. AND basically in the end you have a horse that hasn't been taught to communicate....only to react to the fact that he doesn't have a choice. So the horse is ruined....you don't have a partner.

This guy runs in some pretty elite horse circles....so you can imagine what he thinks when he sees a dropped noseband on an Icelandic. He must brush us off as all being idiots.

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