Last Updated on February 28, 2022 by Allison Price
This headgear will help you improve your horse’s ability to follow your cues.
A trained horse will respond to the bit with his mouth shut. A cavesson can be used to help your horse accept the bit and get better responses. A cavesson is a combination of a noseband and hanger. It’s placed under your bridle and allows your horse to open his mouth but not enough for you to see. He will learn to keep his mouth shut while he responds. You will see a change in his behavior and he will be more open to your signals. This will lead to a better performance and a stronger relationship between you both. A cavesson should be used as a training tool. Soft hands and good horsemanship are important.
A well-adjusted cavesson can be used as a communication tool to help you communicate with your horse. It teaches him respect for your cues, the bit, and your commands.
This article will show you how to fit a cavesson correctly, how to care for them and a few options. This tool should not be used to aid in training.
Adjust your cavesson by moving the buckle of the hanger so that the noseband is slightly higher than the horse’s bridge. Too low nosebands can block his air passageway and make him feel trapped. The correct adjustment will ensure that your piece doesn’t interfere or bind with the bit. To ensure comfort and safety, the hanger should be placed vertically on the head of the wearer so that it is not too close to his eyes.
Depending on the material and style, the noseband can be adjusted or not. If you have a fixed noseband (such a rawhide, rope or piece of rope, not pictured), ensure that the circumference is correct for your horse’s nose before you adjust the hanger. Adjustable nosebands can be adjusted using the buckle at the bottom of the band. Your horse shouldn’t have to open his mouth if the noseband is too tight. The “Flat Leather Noseband”, photo (below-middle), shows an unfit cavesson. The noseband is tighter and the hanger is higher than I prefer. The noseband should be adjusted more like the “Round Leather Noseband”, with enough space beneath his jaw to allow him to make mistakes. It is a good rule to allow your horse to have a space of one finger between his noseband and his face. This will be especially important when you introduce the cavesson.
The cavesson is composed of two parts: the noseband and the hanger. The noseband is made from various materials, while the hanger is soft, latigo-type, leather. It is usually made of one piece of material.
Before you choose the right style and material for your horse, it is important to determine the amount of reinforcement that will be most beneficial and acceptable. Then, learn about your horse’s preferences.
Elastic is a lighter option for horses that are intimidated by cavessons. This combo piece features leather underneath and elastic at the bridge of the nose. It is a gentle reminder for him to keep his mouth shut and not resist the bit. The elastic is flexible so that your horse won’t feel trapped even if the noseband fits snugly to his nose.
The most commonly used material is leather. It is available in various thicknesses and forms. It is durable, easy-to-maintenance, and offers the best appearance. You can find it in both flat and round forms. The simplest cavesson option is the flat noseband. It is more flexible than elastic and needs to be adjusted around the nose of the child. However, the band has less flexibility so that he can keep his mouth shut. The round noseband is stronger than the elastic or flat leather. It is very similar to a bosal and horses that have been ridden in a two rein setup will feel the most comfortable.
Nylon and rawhide are more rigid options that have traditional looks. These are not easily adjustable. They can be made entirely of rawhide, nylon or rope or with a leather covering at the bridge. A stiffer construction provides more reinforcement. It should be adjusted carefully to ensure your horse does not feel restricted or rub his nose.
Cavessons don’t last long as they aren’t a daily riding item. To keep your leather soft, brush or wipe it off regularly. Replace any damaged or hardened hangers or nosebands. Cavessons can last a lifetime and are rarely replaced.
I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!