Basic Noseband Types

There are many, and I mean MANY noseband types in the market today. However, today I will be only briefing you on the basic ones.

I have personally used a Cavesson, Flash, Grackle, and a Drop noseband, and a Micklem on Tofino. When looking for one that suits your horse, no matter what kind it is there are always the basic rules which are:

  • All nosebands should NOT press on the nostrils or cheekbones as that restricts airflow.
  • All nosebands should be fitted to have space for 2 fingers on the under straps (horse must still be able to open the mouth and chew).
  • Every horses reacts different to different nosebands, and fits differently.

So, lets get started!


The Cavesson noseband is the basic noseband used to not only for aesthetic purposes, but also prevent the horse from crossing over the jaw, and for the use of a standing martingale. It is mainly used in the Hunters and Dressage, but can be used in basically any discipline.



The most common type is the Flash Noseband which is used for most disciplines, from jumping, to eventing, to dressage. It is designed to hold the bit in place and the horses mouth low and prevents the horse from opening the mouth or crossing the jaw.

This was the first noseband I ever tried on Tofino. And he seemed to flick his head whilst using the classic flash noseband. So I was on the hunt for something else.


Grackle (Mexican / Figure 8)

The grackle is what I find best suits Tofino as he doesn’t fuss with it whatsoever. It has a front crossover point which is the pain pressure point. This noseband helps clear the horses airways, allowing air to pass easily, without cranking the nose and mouth.

It can be used from Jumping and Eventing, but is not allowed for Dressage unfortunately.

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Drop Noseband

The drop noseband sits lower on the horses face and restricts the horse into lowering their head. The pressure is on the lower parts and groove of the noseband when the horse tries to open his mouth. Once the horse relaxes their jaw, the pressure is released. Many use this type of noseband for young horses to teach them to “accept” the bit.

It is important to note the placement of the noseband as it should sit where the bone is and not the flesh so as to not interrupt the horses breathing.

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I know this isn’t exactly a “noseband” but a bridle, but I thought I should add it in there. The Micklem was created to fit the horses skull and prevent uncomfortable pressure points. The straps are placed in a way that they avoid fragile facial bones, nerves, and both upper and lower molar teeth. It is FEI approved and can be used for Jumping, Eventing, and even Dressage.

I have written about it before (Micklem review), as I use it for dressage and find that Tofino has responded well to it (same as grackle).


I hope this helps! If you have any questions or inputs please do not hesitate to get in touch xx

Which noseband do you use?

One thought on “Basic Noseband Types

  1. Pingback: Al Sakb Equestrian Figure 8 Bridle [REVIEW] | Tofino Tack

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