As in “the noseband is the thing getting trained.”
I love my beta/biothane hackamore nosebands. They’re becoming more and more available as replacements to the rope hackamores that come standard on a lot of s-hackamores, and some of the nicer s-hackamores (like Taylored Tack or Hought) are made with the them as par for the course.
However, there is one thing about them (and it has a lot to do with the number of layers and type of padding) that I find a little bit annoying: they tend to start out more rigid, without much shape to them, and thus will stick out from the side of the horse’s nose at first. Especially the more padding there is.
I have a basic, unpadded Hought biothane noseband on Mimi’s s-hack that is over 10 years old now. It has the top strip of biothane, with a single layer of thin, heavy-duty beta underneath. And it has a very nice curve shape to it.
Of course, that was aided by the fact that Mimi tends to believe in “excessive rein contact”. (aka “she pulls like a crazy freight train”)
That hackamore noseband shaped very nicely, and in a very short time period. (We’ll discuss my horse’s training and lack of “softness” on trail sometime next never.)
One a horse that is much lighter in the face, the noseband never really gets a chance to shape very much. It’s a small thing, but one of Life’s Minor Annoyances.
Liberty is another one who is light in the face (a relief for my shoulders, that’s for sure) and it would be really nice if she stays that way…but my Type A OCD-ness demands that I do something with my nosebands if the horse insists on being polite and only needing light contact.
The noseband on the left is actually triple-layered (layer of beta that the buckles thread through, layer of thin beta under that, which is the same as Mimi’s purple one and the orange one to the right, but then with another layer of PVC waffle padding under that). Nice and cushy, especially for the sensitive horse, but really tough to get to hold a shape.
But hair elastics and keychains seem to be doing the trick, so they’ll stay this way until the next time I need to use them.