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Using and Adjusting a Fiador (FEE-ah-door)

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When riding out and covering country or handling a tough green horse, a fiador on “la  jåquima” can save you from walking home. This is also true when leading a horse while on the ground. There is a way to tie up the mecate lead to lead successfully that we will cover in another mini article.

There are fiadors made from mane or poly rope in a small diameter (usually 3/9ths ir 1/4 inch). They work together with the browband and crown piece of the hanger to retain the hackamore in place. Small diameter mane rope, when repeatedly tied and untied in a fiador tends to wear out quickly.

The fiador (not Theodore) creates a type of sling to help support the heavy rawhide bosal used in starting a colt. A rather stiff bosal (whether stiffness is a result of the core or the plug or the lack of flex in the bars) and an overly large heel knot can be modified a little through the use of a fiador.

Particularly helpful with a horse that possesses an animated gait is the use of a fiador. Unintended messages are not sent to the horse as a result of his extra movement. These signals can be confusing and frustrating for the horse as he is endeavoring to understand what you want. He must sort out what has meaning and what is “static on the line.”

This can also be confusing for the rider. Miscommunication or “missed communication” can result in frustration for both plus potential pain and the development of training issues.

If the bosal is positioned too high on the nose (not top to bottom between the eyes and the nostrils, but on the most prominent skull portion), then appropriate fiador adjustment needs to be made.

The nose button should be short so that it can be conformed to the nose and lessen or avoid wobble causing confusing signals and needless irritation. If the bosal nose button is too long (80% are today), then the bars cannot conform to the face. If there are spaces between the sides of the face and the nose button or bars, then signals can be delayed which adds to the confusion and the mis-fit guarantees irritation.


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