As there are 3 straps for a 2 buckled girth which straps are indeed the correct ones to use , and if there is some protocol -which I understand there is why indeed this particular way? A flash noseband seems to be done up with the excess flap going up , over and accross the nose if a dressage rider and I am told show jumpers do it up the other way- down and under the muzzle- why and what are the implications of this? I can understand why one must put ones feet into the stirrups a certain way- so as to get the stirrup leathers folding comfortably over one's shin, so iI am keen and curious to know about the above two situations.
What a great question!
There are indeed three billets on a general purpose or jumping saddle and only two buckles on your girth. The best answer I could get out of a saddle manufacturer was that there are three so that if one breaks, you have a spare! Not a very comforting thought...! What I like to do when deciding which billets to use is to look at the horse's conformation and use that as my guide. Let's assume you are riding a nice big thoroughbred with a nice big wither (as you know only they can have!) and flatish sides. I like to attach the girth to billet two and three (furthest from head) so that when I do up the girth, it tightens more towards the back of the saddle, as opposed to coming down on the withers in front. One thing to remember if you are going to do your girth this way, is that the first billet is attahed to its own webbing, and the second and third to their own. This means that if your billets do tear out off the webbing, you will lose them both, as opposed to having one on the first billet. The accepted way of attaching the girth is to use the first and third billet if you can. This ensures an even pressure when you do up the girth. If you have a horse with a big tummy, use billet one and two, as this means the saddle is less likely to slip back. Try the various options and see which one works well for you. I think the fit of the saddle is much more important than exactly where you put the girth!
Your second question about nosebands is also an interesting one. Each noseband has a different fit and way of fastening and manufacturers also make the nosebands differently which will influence how you fasten it. The accepted way of fastening the flash noseband is pointing down at the ground, not up to the ears. Many people fasten the noseband pointing up beacuse there is nothing to fasten the excess part after the buckle with. They slip it through the part of the noseband holding the two straps together to keep it still. In all honesty, I think if the buckle is not on the lips, pinching the horse, and the strap is quiet, it is not the end of the world if you have it pointing up to the ears, although one should try to be correct if at all possible! I use plaiting elastics if the tab has fallen of the strap. I have honestly never heard of doing up the noseband differently if you are jumping or doing dressage - I thinkit has more to do with the design of the bridle and if the strap can fasten without needing the middle piece or not! I could not find any reference to this in documented information or the official rules either. Sounds a bit like a fashion trend to me!
Hope that helps! Thanks for the great questions - you keep us advisors on our toes with ones like this!