The International Society for Equitation Science (ISES) has released a statement saying that the practice of over tightening nosebands to avoid penalties in competition is covering up poor training at the expense of horse welfare. Recent research suggests that horses wearing tight nosebands undergo a physiological stress response, are sensitized to bit pressure, and may have reduced blood flow with potential to cause injuries and tissue damage including nasal bone deformities, even when padding acwcompanies the noseband such as in the case of so-called crank nosebands.
Restrictive nosebands can prevent the horse from displaying unwanted behaviors such as opening, gaping or crossing the jaw, and are enabling competitors to mask signs of tension. ISES recommends a return to the established practice of placing “two fingers” under the noseband to demonstrate that it has not been over-tightened. equitationscience.com