Lunging is often seen as a time-saving workout, one that riders can carry out en route to the office – but with the best lunging aids it can be a really beneficial activity. When you can only grab a short respite between downpours, you might decide this time could be better spent lunging 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 lunging your horse correctly and in an aid that is appropriate to his level of training, his conformation and way of going.
Best lunging aids
Pessoa (or Pessoa-style training aid)
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
View now at amazon.co.uk
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
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
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.
View now at ebay.co.uk
Bungee reins/side reins
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
ded visibility from behind when you’re not using an exercise sheet.
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