The purpose of a flash or figure 8 is to keep the mouth closed, which does not allow the horse to grab the bit or to evade pressure. The figure 8 will also keep the horse from crossing his jaw, which is another form of evasion. If your horse is happy in a simple cavesson, no need to change it.
I use a flash because my horse pulls a lot and it helps with brakes
Thanks! For all the answers. When jumping I use a breastplate because (it seems silly) but my guy works harder in it. Like he has a badge of honour ahahahaha! And I have a simple nose and for daily and a schooling figure 8 for playing cross but we don't need a running anymore... we used to definitely but he has schooled out of it ahahah thanks all
I agree with Brenna I think it's kinda just for looks! It's very true that people use and ride in things that they don't really need just to fit in! Some horses need certain things like a running martingale but majority of them just ride in it for looks! I guess it's "cool to have a ton of gear" lol I don't use things like that I don't have a breastplate or martingale, and I have a normal noseband! If your horse is happy with what you ride in now I wouldn't change it! Ok, the breastplate has a purpose when the jumps get higher because people don't want their saddle sliding back they use them and I can understand that lol
I don't use nosebands because if a horse opens his mouth it's because of the pain caused by the bit. Horses opens their mouth to find a release. They don't really want to disobey, just find comfort, but people prefer silence them with nosebands... See a horse being ridden bitless, he won't open his mouth and look more relaxed.
In general I believe it is for looks. My horse is happy jumping and hacking in a simple cavesson, however when we are doing dressage I use a loose flash noseband because he evades the bit by chewing aggressively. It doesn't matter as much when we are jumping, but if a dressage judge sees that he is evading the bit this way (which they have!) I'll get points knocked off.
Some people honestly just do it for the look. I love my figure 8 because it doesn't interfere with my horses breathing but still prevents her from escaping the bit.
That's the sense I got. I have been around for a while but I felt like I missed something big. I don't like over tacking but I see it happen everywhere
In the horse world people tend to do things just because everyone else is. This is just one of those things. For example in the hunter world, it's very rare to see a horse without a standing martingale, even though many of them don't need one.
I'd say if your horse is happy in a simple noseband, just keep it simple. Putting any horse in a flash is not necessary unless you want to keep his mouth shut or otherwise need to prevent him from evading the bit. Riders may use figure 8s jumping or cross country to allow the horse to breathe through his nostrils more freely. I'm sure some people just use flash and figure 8s for glamour, because they think it looks fancy, or because so many other people do it! My horses have always been happy in a regular cavesson, so if it works, no need to change it.