My name is Nicki and I created Noseropes.
With background of working for international show jumpers, event riders and hunters most would think I would be into bits and schooling aids. I changed my view on what works for horses a good few years back now and now everything I own is bitless.
I am a qualified ABRS riding instructor who works mainly on centred balance being the key to safe riding. But 8 years ago I started to change my view on bits and nosebands. I did a lot of research into this and how they affect the horse. This is what I found.
American studies have found that the use of a bit in a horse’s mouth affects the horse’s natural way to breathe. It breaks the seal of the horse’s mouth affecting the soft pallet and causing the horse to struggle with natural breathing. This can have an effect on performance, stamina and gait and is thought to be the cause of exercise-induced pulmonary haemorrhage.
Other problems that can be caused by the bit is head shaking and mouth problems. Some say the horse cannot cope with the noise of the metal bit in the mouth vibrating through the sinuses. Some horses suffer with the discomfort of the bit then tend to lean, grab, flick back and run with the bit. Often when this happens people tend to go for stronger bits and nosebands.
Nosebands also seem to be changing now and more people are going for the crank nosebands, grackles, flashe’s and dropped setups. All of these can be used too tight and a recent study has shown that this causes stress on the horse.
Another study states that a horse’s mouth is for eating so anything you put in the mouth of the horse produces the response to eat which increases saliva and this effects the stomach as there is no food going down. Again which can have long-term effects on the horse.
What I have come to believe is it is all down to training and education which makes for a responsive horse not how much pressure you put on it to achieve an outcome.
If you want to teach a horse to turn left and right when you touch whatever shoulder and stop when you tap the top of the neck that’s what it will do.
Because of all the above, I decided to train my own horse a 16hh ID mare bitless, I had nothing to lose I’ve been training horses for years so I would only have myself to blame. I was amazed at the results. She is an easy ride with the best brakes I have ever had on a horse. Then I decided to try it on other horses mainly those that were used to going in a bit. The results of this were also amazing. With only a little retraining all breeds of horses will quite happily go bitless.
To date, I have had hundreds of emails from happy horse owners whose horses are better bitless, from x races to Shetlands with mouth problems to veteran fell ponies and the best to date was a head shaker who’s owner had tried everything possible and had every test the vets could do.
I decided to try and make something that fitted on a standard bridle to cut down cost and Noseropes was created.
I now do 4 different sorts, in two designs, soon to be done in leather also. I have tested all my items on my own horses and pupils horses to see how the horse would react. The most popular is the standard sidepull. I also do bridles, reins, head collars and other items.
Nicki and my faithful girl who was the inspiration of all this Marmite..