Do you lunge with gadgets

Pigeon

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Nothing! Headcollar and that's it. Poles if I can be bothered ;) Seen so many horses in false outlines on the lunge, would love to see some footage of a horse in a gadget going correctly, it's something I have yet to witness.
 

Fun Times

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For those of you who use poles, please can you explain how you lay them out and what striding you put between them? I do a lot of pole work under saddle but seem to have a mental block when it comes to using them in the context of lunging!
 

EQUIDAE

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For those of you who use poles, please can you explain how you lay them out and what striding you put between them? I do a lot of pole work under saddle but seem to have a mental block when it comes to using them in the context of lunging!
I do them the same as for riding - along the long side. I lunge a circle and then run along the long side and over the poles. If I do them on a circle I just put them in a cross, rather than fanned. Usually I loose school or long line as I find that of more benefit that lunging.

ETA - the best thing for raising poles is potties from the pound shop :)
 

ILuvCowparsely

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For those of you who use poles, please can you explain how you lay them out and what striding you put between them? I do a lot of pole work under saddle but seem to have a mental block when it comes to using them in the context of lunging!
Distances varies which each horse, I either put 1/2/3/4 out at each quarter the hour or 4 in a row when lunging. Never use two as they are inclined to jump them.

Those polypods are totally useless FMH
 

Tnavas

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Yes, I agree. However, that is where I dislike side reins because they are 'fixed' and do not mimic good hands in any way. They actually mimic very bad hands. I used to always use them when reschooling ex race-horses and when breaking in, but I don't any more because of the way they are too fixed.
They are only 'Fixed' if too short and the horse on the forehand.

My horses have always had awesome mouths, work in a single jointed eggbut snaffle and cavesson noseband - they have all been broken with side reins.

I take my time to teach my horses to lunge well - it takes time and patience which unfortunately so many people don't have.

If correctly fitted so that the horse can seek the contact then they have a very valuable place in the education of any horse.

Lunging off a bridle is not good! In any form!, no matter where/how you attach the rein to the bit you change its action, placed over the poll it drags the bit upwards, twisting it in the horses mouth. Attached to the outside ring and threaded through the inside ring it crushes the bit ring against the horses mouth.

Both cause the horse to carry its head tilted/fighting. Go back and start from scratch and actually teach the horse to lunge.
 

Casey76

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Lunging off a bridle is not good! In any form!, no matter where/how you attach the rein to the bit you change its action, placed over the poll it drags the bit upwards, twisting it in the horses mouth. Attached to the outside ring and threaded through the inside ring it crushes the bit ring against the horses mouth.
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Even Sylvia Stanier shows that the lunge rein should be slipped through the bit ring and over the poll in her "Art of lunging" book.

I have yet to find a cavesson which doesn't pull round on the nose - unfortunately.
 

Wagtail

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They are only 'Fixed' if too short and the horse on the forehand.

My horses have always had awesome mouths, work in a single jointed eggbut snaffle and cavesson noseband - they have all been broken with side reins.

I take my time to teach my horses to lunge well - it takes time and patience which unfortunately so many people don't have.

If correctly fitted so that the horse can seek the contact then they have a very valuable place in the education of any horse.

Lunging off a bridle is not good! In any form!, no matter where/how you attach the rein to the bit you change its action, placed over the poll it drags the bit upwards, twisting it in the horses mouth. Attached to the outside ring and threaded through the inside ring it crushes the bit ring against the horses mouth.

Both cause the horse to carry its head tilted/fighting. Go back and start from scratch and actually teach the horse to lunge.
I used to use side reins with great success. However, my thinking has changed over the last five years and I don't use them any more. I completely agree regarding the lunging from a bit, though I will do it briefly before riding a fresh horse sometimes. I have not found a good lunging cavesson that does not twist round. Even my Micklem bridle twists round unless fitted too tight IMO and so I have stopped using it to lunge. By far the best way to lunge is using two reins. You can get a correct contact on both reins that way without the problems encountered lunging from the bridle with only one rein. If I can't use two reins for any reason then I find a rope halter much better to lunge from than a cavesson.
 

Tnavas

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Even Sylvia Stanier shows that the lunge rein should be slipped through the bit ring and over the poll in her "Art of lunging" book.

I have yet to find a cavesson which doesn't pull round on the nose - unfortunately.
I know - sadly!

From what we now know of the action of bits in the horses mouth surely common sense would tell us that having a rein attached to the bit like this is counter productive. It does not mimic in any form the action of the rein when ridden.

Difficult horses as others have posted are best lunged on two reins. One of my OTTB's took a dislike to lunging to the right - two reins was the only way I could keep control of him and prevent him spinning in the other direction.

Sadly the majority of horses are not taught to lunge correctly so end up racing around, cutting in, an bending out.

I'd love an old Wells cavesson - a good one these days is so hard to find - Even tried to get one made but the saddler didn't know how.
 

EQUIDAE

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Tnavas - have an old 3 strap cavesson (I'm sure that is what they based the micklem on). The one I have also hasbthe strap that goes from the top to the middle of the nose - super stable!
 

Wheels

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I'm a bit late to this debate it seems. I will say that there are many roads to Rome & what works for one person & horse will not work for another.

From my personal point of view - I do not use gadgets, only a french cavesson, lunge line and sometimes a whip, sometimes not - depends on the lesson.

The main reason I don't use gadgets is that I'm trying to aid the horse in self carriage, I really can't think how a horse in a gadget is learning that TBH.

Side reins are a lesser evil but still I would not use them myself although I can see why some people do. The reasons being that during my lunge session I want the horse to stretch - nose low & forward, if the side reins are tight enough for them to be any use then the stretch will turn into an overbent fall on the forehand - not what I require.

Even with polework, which I do think is worthwhile in some way, does not give the desired effect - you can get fabulous hind leg action while the poles are there but take them away and that's gone.

It is possible to lunge without gadgets and to influence the horses posture which is the way I prefer to lunge, changes of balance, transitions, changes of circle size, going on straight lines often (ie using the whole arena), changes of rein, changes of tempo, lateral work (specifically Shoulder In on a circle and straight lines and I haven't yet worked out how to do travers or renvers on a circle on the lunge but I'm sure it is possible), being able to move shoulders away in walk, trot, canter and quarters away in walk, trot, canter; ensuring proper step under of the inside hind to the horses midline - these are all things that influence the posture of the horse and all things that can be done on the lunge - this is my preferred method :)

It's not easy, it has taken me a long time to get to grips with this and there are still many mistakes but it's been a fun learning curve and both me and my horse now enjoy lunging when I always used to use it to just take the edge of something nuts. Now to me it has an actual training purpose :)
 

Tnavas

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Tnavas - have an old 3 strap cavesson (I'm sure that is what they based the micklem on). The one I have also hasbthe strap that goes from the top to the middle of the nose - super stable!
No little green emoticons - I wish I had never sold up ll my horse gear when I moved to NZ. I have a nylon one, it fits OK but I can't use it below the bit like the Wells cavesson should fit.
 

EQUIDAE

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Even with polework, which I do think is worthwhile in some way, does not give the desired effect - you can get fabulous hind leg action while the poles are there but take them away and that's gone.
Although I agree with every other point you make I do not agree with this. If done correctly, and the horse is taught to lift its abdominals and sit on the haunches , the correct muscles will be develop correctly and the horse will be able to continue the movement.

These aren't particularly the best examples as it was very early on in his training and he hadn't learned to stretch over the neck and back properly, but it does demonstrate that the leg action doesn't necessarily completely die with removal of the poles... Nor does the elevation of the shoulder which was the point of the exercise for me.

Poles



Without poles

 

Wheels

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I would say you need to do a hell of a lot of polework to truly develop the abdominal muscles by doing polework alone, much more than I would be willing to do anyway.

Like I said each to their own and I don't doubt that polework can help as part of an overall training plan but some posters earlier on made it sound like polework could transform the horse all by itself and I disagree with that
 

HashRouge

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To be honest I prefer to call them training aids, rather than gadgets, as I think gadgets gives the wrong impression as to what they're supposed to be used for. I used to work for an amazing rider who had ridden on Nations Cup teams and he opened my eyes to how "gadgets" should be used when lunging. He liked his horses to be lunged once or maybe twice a week and he would vary what they were worked in each session depending on how they had been going. Often we would just use a bridle or even a headcollar depending on how strong the horse was (some we just needed a bit of extra control!) but he also liked the pessoa (always on the loosest possible setting for a horse's size) and side reins too. Neither was ever used to restrict the horse in any way (the pessoa, when used correctly, does not "jab" the horse in the mouth, as people are fond of saying) but were used for guidance or stretching. He would often use the pessoa once a young horse had learned to lunge but was still learning about self carriage as it helped to continue that education without a rider and was particularly useful for encouraging the correct use of back muscles etc, that in turn would help the horse achieve self-carriage. I distinctly remember him saying one day about one of the young horses "she can just go in a bridle today, she's worked out how to carry herself now". After that the pessoa would be used occasionally as a reminder if he felt a horse need ed a more educational lunge session, as opposed to just a leg stretch. Side reins tended to be used with the more established horses as a guidance and were fixed loosely to give them something to stretch into rather than used as something to pull them in, if that makes sense, and were also useful for sharper horses too as a means of giving them slightly less freedom. Again, there was a lot of alternating on what was used and it was also tailored to what a specific horse needed on a set day.

I took a lot away from that job and I personally really like the pessoa in specific cases. I used it quite a bit with a very big young horse in my next job who could be incredibly temperamental when the rider asked for a contact and also was weak in the back and the neck. The odd session in the pessoa really helped him to work things out for himself and made a huge difference to his ridden work. Yet I also liked to give him sessions in just a headcollar, it all depended on what else he'd done that week and how he was going generally. I think it is good to be flexible and to approach different horses in different ways.
 

EQUIDAE

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I would say you need to do a hell of a lot of polework to truly develop the abdominal muscles by doing polework alone, much more than I would be willing to do anyway.

Like I said each to their own and I don't doubt that polework can help as part of an overall training plan but some posters earlier on made it sound like polework could transform the horse all by itself and I disagree with that
Yes it does take quite a bit - noone suggested it was a quick thing; twice a week for mine. Polework and hillwork is all I have done to develop self carriage - my horses don't lean or overbend. They also weren't backed until self carriage was established - once established, an "outline" develops naturally.

I'm yet to see a horse trained with a pessoa, bungee, side reins or equiami lift the shoulder - they all seem to work down into the shoulder and overbend. If anyone has a pic/video of one working in self carriage I would love to be proved wrong.

Fwiw I try and follow the French school of training and EE methods.
 

Bav

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Sorry to continue this thread.
Current mare gets lunged just in a head collar as initially she was getting too excited by the distractions around the arena and on more then one occasion changed direction by herself when I lunged her in her bridle. I don't own a cavesson.

I've read the thread but may have missed it, so I apologise if it's already been said, but I'm going to lunge her in two reins with a roller as that's what I prefer, but what would be the difference between this and using the likes of a Pessoa? Besides the cost... :p
 

npage123

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Bav - I don't want to get into any discussion as to what 'gadgets' or training aids are best, but as you've asked about the Pessoa, I have found this video purely for illustrative purposes of what they are like. The various ropes and pulleys of the Pessoa training aid are a bit fiddly when on the first few times it is used, but it soon becomes very much easier to place. (I would suggest having a second person holding your horse and be patient when fitting it for the first time; some horse's may be worried about all the ropes and pulleys etc when they see it for the first time.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVLFlzxflOE

As you can see, it's a completely different principle to lungeing they way you do it, with two reins and a roller.
 
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Pessoa - not to force her in to a false outline, but to encourage her to stretch down long & low. This has been great in helping the build up of an even top line across her neck, back & withers

However, I also use normal side reins and poles to activate the hind end and encourage her to work consistently over her back and step through
 

turkana

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I helped out a friend recently who had a broken arm by lunging her horse for her in a passoa, I didn't like it at all, as it seemed to jerk the mouth when the horse moved due to being around the back legs. It was what she wanted so I went along with it.
But I did insist on leaving it off for a few minutes first so the horse could warm up & then undid it for a few minutes at the end to cool down. I appear to be the only person on the yard who does this, so maybe I'm in the wrong! Another thing I do that no one else does is walk for a few minutes to warm up & stretch the tendons.
 

Nappy Croc

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For most just 2 reins, roller, bridle. For one am equi-ami as its better suited to him to get him to stretch down. With 2 reins I tend to work them more on a working outline with some periods of stretching :) I only lunge max of about once a week though as I prefer riding!
 
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