The Chambon

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  • “I have used a chambon as a training aid for more years than I care to remember, ” admits top show jumper, Di Lampard. “I’m not a gadget person at all ¨ it’s a snaffle or double bridle for me if possible, but the chambon can hardly be classified as a gadget.”

    The chambon clips on to the top of the snaffle ring, then rolled leather or cord passes across rings near the ears, to fasten to the girth between the front legs like a martingale.”

    “If a horse has a high head carriage, his back muscles lock and he gets too tense to use himself properly. I find the chambon is an excellent way of relaxing a horse that has this problem. “

    “If he tries to lift his head too high, the bit comes up in his mouth and puts pressure simultaneously on the poll. It encourages him to stretch down, to soften and relax.”

    “I always introduce the chambon quietly on the lunge. It would be a mistake if anyone thought they could just put it on and ride a horse away in it. If he is lunged slowly, withhis hocks well underneath him, it makes him use his back muscles properly.”

    “Once a horse gets used to the chambon, you can jump fences of 18in or 2ft with it on, but he has to really respect it and be going well both on the lunge and on the flat before I graduate that far.”

    “All real horsemen know there are no short cuts in training ¨ nothing is going to provide instant improvement or quick results.”

    “I don’t use the chambon on all my horses as a part of the training routine ¨ horses are all individuals and need different things, and it’s only those who carry their heads too high who really benefit.”

    Chambons are available at £90 from Kate Negus Saddlery (tel: 01273 833384).

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