Q: What is a grackle noseband?
A: The grackle noseband is also known as the figure-of-eight noseband. The grackle is designed with a main pressure point at the crossover point on the top of the horse’s nose. The straps pass through a slotted leather circle, which often has a sheepskin backing to prevent discomfort or rubbing. The grackle is also effective with horses who open their mouths, or cross their jaws excessively, as it helps to quieten horses with fussy mouths (although it must never be fastened tight in an attempt to force the mouth shut). The grackle is thought to be one of the least obstructive of all of the nosebands and therefore is a popular choice for faster-paced disciplines such as showjumping and eventing, where plenty of oxygen is required. Another version of the noseband has also been developed called the American or Mexican noseband. The variation features a top strap that sits higher up the face – it is also said to have softer action.