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Hästens ansiktsnerver

The face of the horse is full of sensitive nerve fibers.


Why is it important to understand how a noseband works?

The research shows that a noseband that is too tight can increase a horse's stress levels. We know, thanks to research, that pain can trigger stress and we have learned to both measure it by studying the stress hormone cortisol, heart rate and eye temperature. But we can also see when this happens by learning to interpret the horse's facial expressions. The following facial features were observed when the horses became stressed:

  • visible whites of eyes

  • dilated nostrils

  • wide eyes

  • raising inner eyebrows

  • visible tongue

  • increase in ear movements

  • increase in blink rate


What happens if you tighten the noseband too tight?

When you learn how a bit works, you understand that every time we pull the reins, it hurts the horse's mouth, and therefore the horse tries to escape the pain by yawning. Then we also understand that we remove that possibility for the horse by putting on a noseband. And especially when we tighten it. The horse's head has three large nerve branches that are very sensitive to pressure. The horse always gets pressure on the nerves in the face regardless of which noseband we use. Pressure that in the worst case can cause pressure injuries, loss of sensitivity on the head.

What happens anatomically if the horse goes "behind hand"?

Today, unfortunately, it is not too rare to see the horses "curled up". When the rider pulls he reins and the horse goes behind the hand, not only is there pressure from the bit in the mouth and on the bridge of the nose of the halter, it also creates pressure in the neck. You prefer not to think about what happens when the rider pushes the horse too hard and rides like a roll cure. Then the bit is on the lower jaw, and with a hard hand

you also get pressure against the ears.

Why doesn't the horse protest?

It does! But often we label the horse as "weird, dangerous or simply a problem".

What we need to learn is how the horse looks when it feels pain, how it behaves, and what we can do about it.

Is noseband-free always a better option?

We say yes. But what about anatomical bridles, are the nosebands better there? Here we say that it is dangerous to believe that any noseband somehow removes the pressure on the horse's nerves, everyone does it. The knowledge and training in how to use them in the best way is just as important as with bits. An anatomical bridle has a wider neck piece but is also designed so that they do not press on the horse's jaws or teeth. Here the noseband is also designed in a special way, see the picture below.


Do you want to learn how to ride with with primary aids?

With us, you will learn to use your primary aids, i.e. seat and voice. You will learn to ride with such small and fine aids as possible and you will notice that it works perfectly in all disciplines. You will also have the opportunity to learn how to get started with the use of bitless bridles. We have been Sweden's Ambassadors in the World Bitless Association since 2020 and here you can try several bitless bridles on your horse.​

Anatomiskt huvudlag
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