gadgets for schooling..opinions??

shady_lady

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Just got back from a flatwork lesson and my instructor said that my horse needs to build up the topline and muscle in his neck in order to become rounder.. she is going to bring some of her 'gadgets' as she called them to try.. however I'm not to sure as it seems as if I will be forcing him and not getting a response from my aids,, if you get me?!?!

what are your opinions/ experiences on gadgets?

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milliepops

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Obviously it depends on the circumstances, but IMO some cautious use of 'gadgets' can be useful to show a horse how to do something.

Don't want to get into a draw reins debate, but very occasionally I might have a session in them, if I'm trying to start working my horse in a different way, or starting to learn a new 'trick'. If she is coming against me to the point where I am not able to show her what I want, 10 mins in draw reins will often help her understand. I'd rather that, than battle for an hour.

Also, I prefer a 'gadget' that you can adjust instantly to reward the right response, like draw reins, rather than something that you have to get off to remove.
 

joe_carby

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i think it can be abit of a touchy subject. but i dont see why they cant be benificial if used properly my horse has needed to build topline and learn to use his back end more. i have been lunging him with side reins on (only lightly not pulling his head under his legs) and he has built topline really well. I am going to start riding him in draw reins but these can be lethal in someone with heavy hands and i have asked international showjumpers who know me and my riding and they have pointed me in the dircetion of these and say they would help. the person in question uses them alot and all there horses have brilliant toplines and really muscly bums so i think i will follow there advise and and use them.

What i dont think is that "gadgets" should ever be used instead of hacking and hillwork but they can help.

Thats my thoughts anyway.
 

millitiger

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if used sporadically to help with a specific problem and then taken off, i don't see the issue.
so things like draw reins, market harboroughs to help canter transitions etc obviously once all saddle/ back/ teeth checks etc have been done.

i know a lot of people are anti gadget but i can't see the problem if they are used correctly- they shouldn't be used long term or to cover up rider errors as you will be found out in the long run!

i think you also have to decide where to draw the line with gadgets- i know lots of people who look down on draw reins but think nothing of whacking a flash on and jamming the horse's mouth shut all of the time!

i would be wary of an instructor who is going to try a load of gadgets on your horse with the sole aim of getting its head down though... not what i would be looking for in a trainer to be brutally honest. how old is your horse?
 

shady_lady

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he's a 11 year old ex-racer! she suggested that it wuld help him 'use himself and therefore build up the muscle which he needs to use himself'
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shee

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i will often use draw reins or the bungee and i always lunge using side reins at least once a week

though i think on some horses constant use of these 'gadgets' can get the horse to be relluctant to work properly without something 'holding its hand' in such environments as competition.
 

joe_carby

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i agree with millitigger to some extent is when she says

"i would be wary of an instructor who is going to try a load of gadgets on your horse with the sole aim of getting its head down though... not what i would be looking for in a trainer to be brutally honest"

But if its not aload of different things and she brings a "gadget" and not a lorry load then this will show she has more of an idea of what will work than just a slap it on and see attitude.
 

charliebo

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Gadgets..... some are useful, most are for lazy riders/trainers.
With any of them it is important that the rider does not forget the basics: rhythm, balance, impulsion, elastic contact etc. Without the basics in place, gadgets will only mask the problem.
Muscle tone and athletic strength are the result of correct training and a well thought out fitness programme.
If you have a problem, go back to the level where you did not have a problem, re-establish and try again.
Most problems are either rider related or caused by pain in the horse.
Using a gadget may make you feel better while you are using it but will it actually teach you anything about how to improve your horse's education/physique or help you when you encounter a similar problem in another horse?
The suggestion from a trainer that some "gadgets" may improve a horse may just show a lack of understanding/education/patience.

It all depends on the horse/rider/trainer involved.
 

diggerbez

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i think gadgets have a time and a place. in the same way that strong bits, flash nosebands, spurs etc have a time and a place. i think a well used pair of side reins on the lunge or draw reins when ridden can help a horse to build topline and encourage them to work correctly but if horse is forced into an outline when not working through from behind then gadget is pointless as will cause problems when removed... most top riders use gadgets but (hopefully) have the knowledge to know when its appropriate to use them...
 

Tnavas

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It will be interesting to know what she brings along - do tell us!

I loathe draw reins with a vengence - but only because the horse can drop behind them to easily - in skilled hands that know the length of their reins they are OK. I'd rather use a Market Harborough or an Abbot Davis.

I only resort to these when lunging hasn't helped the ridden work - I always lunge in side reins and off a cavesson.
 

kick_On

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So called 'gadgets' defo have their place and if your instructor is going to teach you how to use and why, i think thats brilliant.

Gadgets are like most things, they are only BAD when used in the wrong hands!!
 

shady_lady

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[ QUOTE ]
It will be interesting to know what she brings along - do tell us!

[/ QUOTE ]

She brought a market harborough and a bungie rein.. I immediatley said no to the bungie as it goes over the poll.. and my horse fractured his poll in an accident as a foal so hates poll pressure,, the market harborough seemed to work but I was so worried about 'forcing' the outline so only had it on loose!
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thanks for all your advice! If in doubt give HHO a shout!
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