Which lungeing aid would help your horse?

Lungeing is often seen as a time-saving workout, one that riders can carry out en route to the office. When you can only grab a short respite between downpours, you might decide this time could be better spent lungeing your horse in a training aid than hacking him round the block.

However, according to Kathryn Nankervis of The Equine Therapy Centre, Hartpury College — who is about to publish a paper on the pros and cons of training aids — and consultant osteopath Liz Launder, this is only true if you are lungeing your horse correctly and in an aid that is appropriate to his level of training, his conformation and way of going.

Find out what different lungeing aids can do for your horse, where to buy them and how much they cost.

Pessoa
Manufacturer’s claim: creates a fluid contact. Its sympathetic ropes and pulleys encourage the horse to use the correct muscles and to work in the perfect shape
Liz and Kathryn use it to: limit extension of the hindleg. Lower the head and neck if placed low, or compress the neck if set higher
Price: £120
Available from: www.gfsriding.co.uk

Kincade Chambon
Manufacturer’s claim: encourages the horse to lower his head by applying poll and bit pressure when he raises his head too high. This pressure is released when he lowers his head
Liz and Kathryn use it to: lower the head and neck
Price: £27.99
Available from: leading saddlery stores

Kincade De Gogue
Manufacturer’s claim: helps build muscles for a rounded outline
Liz and Kathryn use it to: lower head and neck. Can also be used in higher position to raise head and neck
Price: £17.99
Available from: leading saddlery stores

EquiAmi
Manufacturer’s claim: helps the horse to step under from behind, using his back and lifting his shoulders, working into a soft, equal contact
Liz and Kathryn use it to: limit extension of hindlimb and lower head and neck
Price: from £65
Available from: www.equiami.com

Bungee reins/side reins
Bungee reins and side reins are widely available
Liz and Kathryn use bungee reins to: lower head and neck and inhibit forward movement of head
And side reins to: depending on placement, encourage lowering of head and neck or simply restrict movement to aid control

Read the full feature about lungeing — where we use case studies to investigate how different aids can help and hinder training — in this week’s issue of H&H (24 January 2013)

Read more about lungeing and long reining