Tiny Clapham first saw the Mexican or high-ring Grakle noseband in America, and thought it was such an excellent idea that she had one made for her own horses when she returned to this country.
“More people are beginning to see how effective itis, particularly on big, strong pulling horses, so it’s becoming more common now,” says Tiny. “It’s basically a headpiece with rings on either side, which make a moveable joint. The centrepiece connecting the nose-straps can also be adjusted to make it even more accommodating, although mine is fixed.
The straps run about halfway between the eye and the bottom of the cheekbone, running under the bit and around the jaw in the usual fashion, but crossing high above the nose.
This is much more comfortable and less inhibiting for the horse, as a normal Grakle usually has to be horribly tight to prevent him crossing his jaw and many horses resent the restriction. Some actually lean on the traditional Grakle, making it work against you.
“The high-ring Grakle is a well-balanced noseband which doesn’t impede the airways, leaving the second nostril clear, and doesn’t interfere with the bit even though it closes the mouth. It’s such a manoeuvrable piece of equipment, which makes it fit well. Because it looks so tidy, I don’t even mind using it for dressage, as horses find it so acceptable and are really soft in the hand.
“I find it an effective noseband on many horses and often alternate it with the flash.”