Last updated: August 12, 2021

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Welcome to our big cavesson test 2022. Here we present all the cavessons we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best cavesson for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. Furthermore, you will find some important information on this page that you should pay attention to if you want to buy a cavesson.




Summary

  • The cavesson is versatile and is often used for lunging. You can also use the cavesson for bitless riding and ground work.
  • A cavesson enables you to gymnastise your horse and influence its position and bend. It is also gentle on the horse's sensitive mouth.
  • Cross bridles are available in different materials, sizes and with different nose pieces and padding.

The Best Cavesson: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a cavesson

What is a cavesson suitable for?

The cavesson is mainly used for lunging and ground work. It is often used in the training of young horses. You can also use the cavesson for riding. The cavesson is a bitless halter, often made of leather.

The main component is a nose piece, which varies depending on the model, on which three rings are usually attached. A lunge line or reins can be strapped to these rings. The lunge line is usually attached to the middle ring, while reins are attached to the side rings.

This puts pressure on the horse's nose and you can work directly on the horse's head. The cavesson can be used to gymnastise the horse and improve bending and stance.

The cavesson has the advantage that it is gentle on the horse's mouth.

This is why it is also very popular for training young horses. The cavesson can also be combined with a bit with separate reins. In this way, young horses can be slowly accustomed to riding with a bit during their training. Even though a cavesson is usually gentler than a bit, it can also be very sharp and exert a lot of pressure on the horse's head.

A cavesson must therefore fit well on the horse's head, especially the nose iron should fit exactly on the horse's nose. A model should be chosen that fits the demands of horse and rider. In addition, one should inform oneself about the correct handling in order to avoid injuries.

Advantages
  • Suitable for lunging and ground work
  • Gentle on the horse's mouth
  • Also suitable for riding
Disadvantages
  • Can exert a lot of pressure
  • Depending on the model, very sharp effect
  • Must fit exactly

How does a cavesson work?

The cavesson acts on the horse's nose bone through the nose piece. By applying pressure to the nose bone, you can influence the horse's neck and thus the entire head.

This influence continues through the neck to the spine and the back muscles. With the cavesson you can influence and correct the position and bending of the horse.

The cavesson can be used to train the horse's bending and position. (Image source: pixabay.com / skeeze)

How does the cavesson fit properly?

A good fit with the cavesson is extremely important, as it exerts pressure on sensitive areas. The nose iron in particular must fit snugly against the horse's nose. A nose piece without an iron can adapt to the horse's nose more easily.

With a properly fitting cavesson there are no large gaps between the horse's nose and the nose piece. The cavesson must not press against the horse's ears or forehead. You can adjust the height of the cavesson within a certain range.

The cavesson must not sit too low on the nose, as the nasal bone runs out thin and is very sensitive. If it is buckled too close to the cheekbone, it presses on the facial nerves. A cavesson sits correctly when it is about two finger widths below the cheekbone.

The correct fit of a cavesson is very important because it puts pressure on sensitive areas. (Image source: pixabay.com / Hunter13071988)

What does a cavesson cost?

The price of a cavesson ranges from 15 to 300 Euros. The price depends mainly on the material used and the quality. Cavessons made of high-quality leather are usually a bit more expensive, while cavessons made of nylon can be bought rather cheaply.

What are the alternatives to a cavesson?

There are different bridles and halters that are used for lunging, ground work and riding. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. In the following section we will give you a brief overview of the alternatives to a cavesson.
Type Description
Snaffle The snaffle is the classic piece of equipment for riding with a bit. It can also be used for lunging. However, the lunge must be strapped on for every change of direction. In addition, the bit can interfere with the horse's sensitive mouth.
Knotted halter The knotted halter is very suitable for ground work, as it allows a fine and precise influence. It can also be used for bitless riding. However, it can slip easily, so it is less suitable for lunging.
Hackamore The hackamore is a bitless bridle used for riding. There is the mechanical and the Californian hackamore (Bosal). A hackamore only belongs in experienced hands, as you can exert a lot of pressure with it.

Each bridle has certain advantages and special suitability. The cavesson is very versatile. It can be used for ground work as well as for riding and can also be combined with a bit.

As it is gentle on the horse's mouth and allows the horse to be gymnastically trained, it is very popular for lunging, for example with the tried and tested double lunge.

Decision: What types of cross bridles are there and which one is right for you?

If you want to get a cavesson, there are several types to choose from:

  • German cavesson
  • Caveçon
  • Serreta
  • Leather cavesson

Depending on what you prefer and what you want to use the cavesson for, a different type is suitable for you. In the following section, we would like to make the decision easier for you and give you an overview of the different models.

type nose piece suitability
German cavesson one to three piece nose iron lunging, good for beginners
Caveçon padded chain handwork, riding
Serreta leather covered steel stirrup handwork, lunging, riding of experienced horses
Leather cavesson leather strap handwork, riding of advanced horses

What distinguishes a German cavesson and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The German or heavy cavesson is characterised by a one- to three-piece, firm nose iron, which is padded with leather. This bridle is excellent for beginners because the nose iron is very well padded. This allows a gentle influence on the horse.

The German cavesson must be correctly fitted, as compared to a caveçon it does not adapt so easily to each horse's nose. Otherwise the influence becomes undifferentiated and imprecise. Due to the thick padding, the German cavesson is often somewhat bulky, and therefore not necessarily suitable for horses with a narrow head.

The German cavesson is particularly suitable for lunging and is a good choice for beginners.

Advantages
  • Thick padding
  • Gentle influence
  • Suitable for beginners
Disadvantages
  • Often somewhat bulky
  • Spongy influence
  • Often does not fit narrow horse heads

What are the characteristics of a caveçon and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

In a caveçon, also called a French cavesson, the nose piece consists of a bicycle chain padded with leather. The chain adapts very well to each horse's individual nose. This also makes the caveçon very light and comfortable to wear compared to a cavesson with a nose iron.

The narrow chain allows a very fine and differentiated action. However, the effect is also very sharp due to the small contact surface. In addition, the caveçon can slip more easily. Thanks to the very precise action, a caveçon is particularly suitable for handwork, but can also be used for riding.

Advantages
  • Precise and fine influence possible
  • Light weight
  • Noseband adapts easily
Disadvantages
  • Sharp action
  • Can slip
  • Less suitable for lunging

What are the characteristics of a serreta and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The serreta is often called a Spanish or Iberian cavesson. The nose piece here consists of a narrow, leather-covered steel stirrup, which is often toothed on the inside. The serreta is extremely sharp. On the one hand, this makes a very fine impact possible.

On the other hand, the risk of injury is also very high and scars can occur. In addition, it is often not suitable for warmbloods, as it is designed for narrower horse heads.

The serreta therefore only belongs in experienced and sensitive hands and is not suitable for beginners. The serreta can be used for handwork, for lunging and for riding experienced horses.

Advantages
  • Very fine action possible
  • Versatile use
  • For experienced horses
Disadvantages
  • Very sharp action
  • Can cause scars
  • Often not suitable for warm-blooded horses

What are the characteristics of a leather bridle and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

As the name suggests, a leather cavesson is made of leather. Examples are the Pluvinel or the Cavesal. Compared to other cavessons, leather cavessons do not have a nose iron or chain. Instead, the leather noseband has the usual rings riveted into it.

This makes the leather bridle very light and fits snugly on the horse's head. Of all cavessons, this one has the gentlest action. However, the leather bridle can easily slip, so it is only suitable for lunging to a limited extent.

This bridle is especially suitable for more advanced horses and for handwork and riding.

Advantages
  • Very comfortable to wear
  • Gentle influence
  • For sensitive horses
Disadvantages
  • Can slip easily
  • Only conditionally suitable for lunging
  • Weaker influence

Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to compare and evaluate cross bridles

If you are planning to buy a cavesson, you should look at the following aspects of the products on offer:

  • Size
  • Material
  • Nose piece
  • Padding

Here we show you what is particularly important in the individual factors.

Size

It is very important that the cavesson fits well on the horse's head. The nose piece in particular must fit exactly, otherwise it can be uncomfortable for the horse.

The size specifications used by dealers usually refer to the breed of horse. Here is an overview of frequently used sizes:

size specification stick measurement
pony 90 - 147cm
thoroughbred 145 - 158cm
warmblood 158 - 180cm
coldblood from 180cm

However, deviations are also possible, for example for horses with a larger or wider head. Also check the product description for detailed information about the size.

Especially for cavessons with nose irons, you may have to try out different models and sizes until you find a suitable one. This is less of a problem with the models without a nose iron or with a chain, as these can adapt to the horse's nose more easily.

Otherwise, a cavesson can also be adjusted and thus the size can be adapted somewhat.

Material

Most cavessons are made of leather. However, there are also models made of nylon or biothane. Leather bridles are usually a little more expensive, but are considered very durable and stable. They are also comfortable for the horse to wear and many people appreciate the beautiful look.

However, the leather also needs to be cared for. With nylon bridles, you should look for high-quality goods that are dimensionally stable. Otherwise, the precise action is made more difficult. Biothane has the advantage that it is very easy to care for and durable. It also keeps its shape and is comfortable for the horse.

Nose piece

The nose piece is the main part of the cavesson. As already mentioned, it differs depending on the model. There are variants with a nose iron, such as the German cavesson and the serreta, or without a nose iron, such as the leather cavesson.

The caveçon with the padded chain as nose piece is in between. The leather cavesson and the caveçon have the advantage that the noseband easily adjusts individually to the horse's nose. In the case of bridles with a nose iron, on the other hand, you have to look for a model that fits the horse's nose exactly, or have it fitted by a blacksmith.

For particularly sensitive and delicate horses it is better to use a leather nose piece without an iron, as it is lighter and finer to wear than a nose iron.

Which nose piece is suitable also depends on the horse's head. The German cavesson is a bit bulky with the thick padded noseband and therefore less suitable for narrow horse heads. The Serreta, on the other hand, is designed for narrower horse heads, but often does not fit warm-blooded horses. The leather bridle and caveçon fit more easily.

Padding

Double bridles usually have padding on the nose piece and the nape of the neck to prevent uncomfortable pressure points for the horse.

The padding of the nose piece varies depending on the model. In the German cavesson, the nose piece is very thickly padded, whereas in the serreta it is only covered with leather or sometimes even bare.

The following applies to padding: the thicker the padding, the gentler the impact.

Unpadded nose irons have a very sharp effect and can lead to injuries if used incorrectly. However, with increasing padding, the impact becomes more undifferentiated and imprecise.

For sensitive and delicate horses as well as for beginners, a cavesson with good padding is more suitable. Cavessons with little or no padding around the nose iron belong only in fine and experienced hands.

Facts worth knowing about the cavesson

How do I put on the cavesson correctly?

  1. Put the cavesson on and fasten the gullet strap first.
  2. Make sure that the bridle is at the correct height, i.e. two finger widths below the cheekbone.
  3. Make sure that the cheek pieces do not slip into the eyes.
  4. Now close the noseband, tight enough so that it cannot slip.
  5. For models with a throatlatch, buckle it loosely enough so that a fist fits between the throat and throatlatch.
  6. Finally, check that the bridle fits properly and that nothing can slip out of place.

Make sure that the nose piece sits well on the horse's nose. There should be no large gaps at the side or a triangle on the bridge of the nose. Also make sure that the cavesson is not buckled too tightly. The horse should still be able to chew.

What should I keep in mind when using a cavesson?

Be aware that a cavesson can put a lot of pressure on sensitive areas. The nose piece rests on the thin bone of the nose bone.

You should not tie your horse with a cavesson because of the risk of injury.

Otherwise, the horse can be injured if used incorrectly. Therefore, handling the cavesson requires a lot of sensitivity.

Image source: 123rf.com / 30741312

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