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.