Metal in Lunge Cavessons question

I’ve been looking around at lunge cavessons on and off for a few years and honestly am still kind of unsure. What is the functional difference between the metal designs in the nose piece? I’ve seen ones where it’s a solid metal part, a few with 3-4 metal pieces inside, and also chains.

I have googled things to try and understand which is the best but seems to be pretty mixed opinions from everywhere. Is there a certain kind that’s best for specific uses? I do a lot of in-hand work and some lunge work so I’m trying to avoid the really bulky ones. I’m also worried with the cavessons that have solid metal pieces or the 3-4 jointed pieces will be too cumbersome for the in-hand work? If it makes a difference, I’m not working with anyone who’s unruly or hauls like a freight train but I do want to make sure I end up with whichever is the most appropriate.

Currently am using a leather lunge cavesson which is kind of a nightmare, very awkward. Initially got it as I was hesitant to use anything metal in the cavesson noseband but it’s ridiculous.

Really good question. I have lightweight Portuguese cavesson with chain and ived used the standard cavessons with a plate. Mostly I use a rope halter but they aren’t ideal.

I was kind of horrified when I saw I’d bought a cavesson with a chain in the leather but now my feeling is if the work is going halfway civilized the horse never feels anything like the full bite of the noseband and the use is really that the slight weighting is a better signal.

A rope halter by its design tends to tilt the head counter bent while any cavesson with side rings or top of nose ring can be used to give an inside bend more clearly.


I like the Wels cavessons much more than the German cavessons with the leather on the outside of the nose. I find the horses lean less on the Wels cavesson and there’s much less “noise” so it translates better to the horse. It’s easier for us to speak from a distance, so to speak. It’s also fantastic for groundwork.

The German ones always slide around on the face IME.

This is the one I’ve got. I love it and will probably have it the rest of my life.


Agree. These type are popular with many and I like mine. Use it daily. Got a Meg Braunch set from Ogle Saddlery.

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Excellent thanks for the recommendations! That one by Ogle Saddlery looks wonderful!

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I have a Portuguese cavesson but have gone almost exclusively to my Hybrid halter.

The ring at the bottom slides so you don’t get the halter pulled over into the eye and it eliminates the tendency to tip the head to the outside. Even with the Portuguese cavesson (leather covered chain), no matter how tight, it always slides on the nose and tends to droop down on the nose.

I also use the Hybrid for long reining and this winter when it was frozen and the footing a bit suspect, I used it for riding so she had her head in case of a slip. As one who was grounded from riding for long periods of time, I have done a lot of ground work and found these halters very useful.



If the halter ring slides that much, why not just attach the lunge line to the inside of your horse’s regular halter? Of course you may use whatever you want but I would not want to use that set-up for anything other than round pen or “natural horsemanship” type groundwork.

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I actually have seen those Hybrid halters in action! I found that even with the sliding ring, the flexion was still a little different from how it is with the lunge cavesson. Unfortunately I am very iffy about how any cavessons/halters feel, otherwise I’d just use one of my halters haha

I have a Wels cavesson to lunge my big WB mare that can be PITA sometimes. I didn’t want her to ever be able to get away from me on the lungeline. I HATE lunging with a chain because you make a correction and the chain tightens up and does not release instantly when the horse exhibits the desired behavior. With this cavesson I can fine tune my half halts while lunging and she pays attention. Interestingly she has never tried to get on her shoulder and take off - her bad behavior is making the circle too small. I do have one of those “Bad Girl” halters and I use it on the ground but I don’t think it would be good to train them on the lunge line.

I have never done work in hand but I would rather use something like a Wels than a plain leather cavesson. You have a lot more control and respect. Used properly it is no more harsh than a leadrope with a chain. I have never had one with the chain in the noseband.

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Are the Wels cavessons the one with one solid metal piece or the jointed ones? They seem to be bulkier than the chain cavessons and I do really prefer the dexterity for the in-hand work

Yes mine has a solid piece. It is a little bulky but I prefer it to a regular padded cavesson. I don’t know anymore about the chain ones than I can see on the internet. I figure if it is good enough for the Spanish Riding School it is good enough for me. I definitely think it would keep her from running over me if I tried in hand work.

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I have both a Portuguese style cavesson and this English one with a jointed metal plate in the cavesson: [Lunge Cavesson - Falcon Range (](
I find that I prefer a different one for different horses. The Portuguese cavesson is lighter but has a stronger effect. One of my horses prefers the English cavesson and finds the Portuguese offensive ("why are you shouting at me!?) and the other horse goes beautifully in the Portuguese but might run through the English if he’s having a feisty day.
I have a spare English cavesson I’d be happy to sell you. :slightly_smiling_face:


Mine has some play in the nose to accomodate a number of horses but it’s not bendy for sure. I do not want it to be bendy however because I do not want it to shift on the face at all. They are a bit heavier than the chain ones but I like that better for in hand work because I can make my aid smaller and they will feel it better. Whoever said “half halt” has it right. I think it translates better to under saddle work because I don’t have to muscle them around in the groundwork like I feel like I have to do with a rope halter. I don’t want the attachment to the longe line to be under the chin because I don’t want them to brace against it poll-out.

It also depends on what you’re doing for groundwork. I like to do shoulder in and leg yields in hand. Also piaffe, and half passes on long lines with an educated horse. While a rope halter might be perfect for some purposes, a dressage cavesson has a completely different feel.


Hm interesting thank you for the info and for the offer!

We just got this one in at work and already have to reorder it. It’s super lovely and well made.

Waldhausen anatomic cavasson


Another fan of the Wels cavesson.

Since the hand in longeing shoud be as soft and conversational as it is while riding, the metal plate can be used as an exclamation point against disobediamce by a sharp donward tug on the line. Not to be used in normal line conversation but there as a backup. in a necessary moment. I use it with the horse bitted, and the bottom back strap of the caceson under the bit. This is why the hand must remain converstional.

It is used for good reason by the SRS.

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That’s actually the one I have right now! I don’t mind it for lunging but unfortunately it’s so thick that I have to use stronger signals to do anything in-hand

I looked up that cavesson, and find that it misses some very important features. Without a circular ring ion the sides of the noseband, conversation must be amplified, a negative as far as I’m concerned. It is more of a glorified halter.


Which one are you referring to when you say “that cavesson”?

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I’ve been looking and debating which longe cavesson to purchase as well. Anything in the US seems to be a very basic hinged metal noseband. I think it’d be best to have a solid metal nose, but I’m a bit leery of trying to order from Portugal and Spain. I may try to build one myself.

It seems the biggest issue is the cheek pieces pulling up into the eye. I’m thinking that I’ll form and pad a metal nose, then replace the nose on an adjustable halter. The halter cheekpieces tend to be lower than those on a headstall and there is a jowl piece from throatlatch to nose that might help stabilize. I dunno if it will work but I’m not seeing much better out there. If you find something that works, please update.

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