German String/Waldhausen rope training aid
Good evening all,
I'm looking for opinions on the above bit of kit. (its the rope that goes over the horse back, between front legs and attaches to either side of the bit used while lunging) It's supposed to help the horse stretch down and work effectively over its back without forcing them into an outline.
Good/bad reviews, personal opinions, no one I know has used one so any/all feedback on it much appreciated. Even an idea of how commonly used they are!
I'm not intending to use it on my own horse, but this is preliminary investigation for a research project for my MSc- so please, any thoughts would be most welcome!
I looked it up expecing the pessoa kit, but this isn't the same thing.
There's a rein goin from between the horse's front legs and around the back, right? What will happen is that every time the horse puts his head too high, too low or forward to take the contact, the rope will push down on the back to punish the behaviour by pressure like draw reins and try to hold it in the "Dressage pose". This opposite of what we want - stretching neck, arched back and weight on the hindquarters.
Personally I prefer the pessoa, because when the horse stretches into the side reins, it causes the strap around the hindquarters to push them forward, which helps with overall collection and way of moving.
I've never used one personally but a friend of mine uses it on her horses and they work really well in it. It's one of the softer lunging aids that I've seen as it doesn't connect the back end to the mouth in any way, so there's no interference with the bit from the movement of the hind legs, and it allows more flexibility in the head/neck carriage than side reins for example. Like with any training aid I think there is potential for it to be used incorrectly and do more harm than good - I would imagine that possible undesirable side effects would be the horse going behind the vertical or ending up on its forehand. But the few horses I've seen worked in it haven't had those issues and I have considered getting one of these myself. Interested to see what you find out about them in your research, sounds like an interesting project!
I use it with my trainer's horses, and I am planning on introducing it to my 3-year-old for occasional short work over the summer before I back him. The horses who use it are already familiar with the concept of bit acceptance and working on the contact before they are longed in it, so they already understand and are physically capable of longeing on a contact and not going hollow. We use it to longe them in a deeper frame, as it encourages them to stretch over their back more than traditional side reins do.
My youngster and I are working on the double longe to understand about flexing and accepting contact, and until he knows about that and understands what is expected of him, I won't use the aid on him. But for horses in a regular training program who understand how they are supposed to work, it is great 🙂
I guess I am a purist, if there is such a thing. I have great results with a lunge surcingle, a bridle with snaffle bit, a lunge cavesson and rein, and plain leather side reins adjusted appropriately for the horse and his work. Lunging is great for getting the horse to round, accept the bit, and really use his hind end -IF - you understand how to use the equipment properly. I had a great instructor. Also check out Podhajsky's books.
Barbara J Martin
@barbarajmartin Thankyou, I will investigate. There's quite a bit of literature about lunging in general and some lunging aids, but could find very little about this one. I think it might be interesting looking at the trainer experience element!
@phantom-glasses thankyou for your thoughts- I thought I might compare strides lengths between the different lunging aids and frames. There's not much info on this one out there (that I can find anyway). Quite a few people have said they prefer pessoas.