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H&H Asks: two nosebands

POPULAR American show jumper Laura Kraut uses two nosebands, a cavesson and a drop, on her Dutch Warmblood gelding Anthem, owned by the Summit Syndicate. H&H asks why she uses the unusual combination.

OLYMPIC veteran Laura Kraut is widely regarded as one of the top competitors in grand prix show jumping circles, and is well known for her partnership with the 16-year-old Anthem. The gelding has been tricky in the past, suffering from competition nerves and becoming strong for his rider.

“Once he starts working, he’ll get over his jitters, although about eight years ago I’ll admit that I couldn’t control him in the warm-up area,” explains Laura, who is currently 17th on the FEI/Gandini World Jumping Rankings.

“He was very strong and in the ring would ‘root’ the reins right out of my hands.

“Katie Prudent [US team veteran and former chef d’equipe] was helping me at the time and she suggested that I use a drop noseband to help keep control of Anthem in the ring — it gives extra points of control at the nose and in the curb groove,” adds Laura.

“The regular cavesson noseband was used as well to attach a standing martingale [which you are not allowed to use in the ring under international show jumping rules] in the warm-up area.

“This martingale doesn’t apply pressure to the bit, but to the horse’s nose via the noseband, and helped me with control when he became strong while warming up.

“Anthem outgrew this combination of nosebands years ago, but it became ‘his’ bridle and I just didn’t change it — I guess I’m superstitious. This pairing may not seem very technical, but I do feel many horses benefit from a standing martingale in certain circumstances. I found it an easy way to warm-up using the martingale, while still having the control of the drop noseband in the ring.”

This Q&A was first published in Horse & Hound (6 September, ’07)

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