The International Society for Equitation Science recommends that a minimum spacing must be achieved between the noseband strap and the horse's nasal bones. An increasing number of sports governing bodies are introducing new rules to this effect, with several countries specifying a spacing between 1.5 and 2 cms.
The ISES taper gauge is a tool that can be used to check the minimum spacing is achieved.
This lightweight, standardised gauge has been specifically designed with a smooth, wide and flat surface that will slide-up and sit comfortably between the noseband strap and the nasal bones without pinching or catching.
When the gauge can be inserted without force up to the raised stop, a spacing of at least 1.5 cms is achieved.
Field tests involving over 3,000 horses show the gauge is very easy to use and well-tolerated by sport horses undergoing competition tack checks.
The ISES taper gauge is multipurpose and is also equipped with three handy notches on the side that can be used to measure that the diameter of the bit’s mouthpiece is within the regulations set by the FEI.
On the reverse side, two marks set 100mm apart help check the maximum legal length of a curb shank. There is a side carry clip if you want to fit the gauge in a pocket and a loophole for a lanyard.
Research to determine the ideal adjustment of the noseband is ongoing, but in the meantime, the ISES taper gauge will help riders ensure their noseband is not overly tight and complies with the new rules.