Training Tools: The Noseband and Tiedown0
The combination of a quality noseband and the perfect length tiedown strap can aide in making the perfect run, whether you’re roping or racing. Not to be confused as a restraint, the two pieces of equipment assist in a horse’s movement by helping move the horse’s center of gravity towards his back end, keeping him more collected. A collected horse will depend on its powerhouse, the rear, to move quicker and stop harder.
Like horse bits, nosebands are available is different severities. A wider base of contact will be less severe versus a skinny single rope noseband. A caveson combo noseband can also prevent the horse from avoiding the bit by keeping the horse’s mouth closed.
The most important part of this training aide is the tiedown strap and length. The strap can be made of leather, biothane or nylon and be found for as little as $9.99. The length of the strap will depend on the horse. The length should be based on your horse’s height, neck length, activity, and skill, among other elements. “The length of the tiedown strap should allow your horse to get his head just above his natural headset. A tiedown is there to assist in stride balance and not to be used as a head restraint,” said Krece Harris, NRS clinician and horse trainer.
“When we rope on these horses, we go zero to 15 or 20 miles per hour, back down to zero,” He said about team roping. “When they hit the noseband it collects their stride to keep them balanced. It puts their feet on the ground to shorten their stride. Some barrel racers don’t ride with tiedowns because they want their horse to stride out.”
When introducing a noseband and tiedown to a young horse make sure to start with a longer length strap and leather noseband, until the horse adjusts to the device’s limits. Keep in mind the different severities in the noseband piece. Like other training tools, it is handy to have variety for different attitudes and situations.