Riding Cavesson

Riding Cavesson

This is my latest addition to my equipment collection. As many of you know I am at this current moment only training my horses bitless. It is not because I do not support people who ride or train with a bit, but because I haven’t yet found any good reason to do so myself. Until now it has never been a problem for me to not use a bit and in that case I do not see any reason why I should do so then. That of course means that I will have to find alternatives from normal bitted bridles and just last week I become in possession of this beautiful riding cavesson.

Until now I have mostly been using my regular cavesson for riding as I really appreciate the functionality and impact from the cavesson. It supports and encourages the right stelling and bending through the poll of the horse and affects the roundness all the way through the body. Meanwhile a halter for example is having its impact on the lower jaw and instead of asking in the nose and give roundness, it pulls in the lower jaw and makes the horse tilt the head. That is why I love my cavesson! So why a riding cavesson instead of the regular one?

It has never really been a problem for me to ride with my regular cavesson, but I see the benefits of the riding cavesson now that I have tried it out!

What are the differences? 

  • First of all the riding cavesson only has two rings in the nosepiece. Those meant for the reins and thereby not the ring in the middle used for groundwork and lunging. The good thing about this is that there will not be a ring dangling around in the middle when you are riding. Some horses finds that super distracting, but luckily my boys has not seen annoyed about it. Yet I know some who has experienced that. You will only know by trying it out!
  • The regular cavesson I use has a bicycle chain in the nosepiece covered my soft leather. That means that it is not at all stiff, but it makes it able to shape after the horse that is wearing it. In the riding cavesson the bicycle chain has been replaced with flexi-steel which is a flat plate of flexible steel. That means the it can be fitted exactly to match the head of the horse. If the horse has a wide nose it will be wide and if the head is narrow you can press it a bit together. I found that to work perfectly when I tried it on Alvaro. The flexi steel makes it very still on the head and makes sure it does not move around. I know it can sound harsh with steel, but trust me it is VERY flexible. I could easily press it a bit together with two fingers and same thing when making it wider.
  • The collection of the nose part and the neck part is different. With the regular cavesson the collection is made in a ring sitting just below the cheekbones in each side. That means that the nose piece can be moved up and down when it is on the horse which is not a problem when working from the ground. Yet it can be a bit annoying when riding (when the cavesson has been used for several years) as the leather becomes softer and it can slide down a bit towards the nose which is not practical when riding as the pressure lies on the nose if you pull the reins. In comparison the riding cavesson is unable to pull of this stunt as it can neither slide up or down due to the collection in the side. You can see that in photo no. 2 below.

I need to state again that even though the riding cavesson might be even better for riding  it still works perfectly fine with a regular one. I have never had any issues with it!

Furthermore I have got to say that I love the details on my riding cavesson. I choose the one with the Cortesia buckles since I love the classical look of them. Yet if you do not like these fancy buckles you can also have it with plain ones that are just flat like the ones on the reins. I think the huge issue about cavessons is that they are so hard to find out there for some reason. I bought my regular cavesson 3 years ago and even since then I haven’t been able to find a single one that I like as much. What I also really like about my regular cavesson as well as my riding cavesson is that they are so light to look at. Often these modern cavessons are HUGE and HEAVY and almost covers up the whole head of the poor horse wearing it. That simply does not work for me… I need something that looks delicate in the head, is functional in the work and is comfortable for my horse to wear.

6 thoughts on “Riding Cavesson”

  • It is such an awesome bridle! I would love to but something like this one day. I an sure gonna think about buying a cavesson if I can because I think it can actually have a good influence on riding my horse, Bram. And ofc awesome blog as alwayss!

    • Yaaay thank you dear! I really love the look of my new bridle as well and you should for sure consider getting yourself a cavesson for Bram. I hope to be able to post some guides on how to use it soon. Maybe that would be interesting for you!

  • Hi! It’s such a pretty bridle.. where on earth do you find all your gorgeous riding gear?!
    The main question i have for you is more about rope ‘halter’ bridles. I have a low ring rope halter which works well for one horse but is not well fitting for the other. I’ve been doing a bit of research and am looking at a sidepull rope bridle- have you had any experience with these? If not a rope sidepull i am considering a leather headpiece with sidepull reins (such as yours) but they cost so much more..
    Thanks for any help, and keep writing your blogs, they are lovely to read!

    • Hello Charlie. Thank you so much – I love my new bridle as well! I have my gear from several different places, but this one is from my sponsor ‘Klassisk-dressur.dk’. You can find more information about them in my Sponsors-section.

      I do not have much experience with the sidepull rope bridle as the only rope halter I have been riding with is a regular one. I would say though that I at any time prefer to ride with a leather bridle as it is both softer and sits better in the head from what I have seen 😉

      If you do have the opportunity I would suggest you to find a leather bridle/sidepull. I have seen people make some on their own by using nosepieces for a regular bitted bridle and then put in reins. Maybe you could look it up on Google or Youtube? I think there will be some nice ideas on how to make a fairly cheap sidepull in leather!

      I hope you figure it all out and get something that fits both you and your horse. Best from Sophie

      • Thank you!
        I will definitely have a look around then and see what leather ones are available, I’m just wary of all the extra ‘force devices’ they sometimes hide inside.. The regular noseband seems like a good idea too, more research needed i think 😁

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