The importance of noseband placement

More and more lately I am seeing horses being ridden (or photos on facebook) where the noseband on the bridle is going to be causing the horse discomfort.

The horses head is made up of 34 bones (pretty cool huh), most of which are fused together so they appear as one large horse skull (much like a human skull does). Along the top of the nose is the nasal bone (circled below in green) which, for a portion of its length, is completely unsupported and eventually tapers down to nothing.

So that leads me to noseband placement. If your noseband sits too far down the horses nose, then you are applying pressure to this delicate and unsupported bone. At best, this will cause discomfort to your horse and, in extreme situations, the nasal bone can be broken.

Below are two images showing where a standard noseband should sit (green) and where I am seeing a lot of horses wearing it (red). For reference I have shown the lines on both the skull and a photo.

A standard noseband should sit approximately 2cm below the horses cheek and be loose enough that you can slide your thumb underneath it.

For further information on bridle fit, here is a link to a well written article: click here.

So please, do your horse a favour and double check your bridle fit.

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