In the fifth part of the series on ‘Ground Training’, Fred and Rowena Cook (of Equine Management and Training) look at how training aids can be effectively used with racehorses out of training.
When re-training the use of a training aid can be helpful but must never be deemed as a short-cut to save time or force a horse into a false outline in order to achieve ‘results’. An aid should not be used until a horse is responding positively and is responsive to your cues.
Use of an aid can help a horse lift his back, which brings the hind legs more under the body which leads to the development of the all-important outline.
We very rarely use side reins as we prefer to double lunge but many people elect to use them. They can be useful to encourage acceptance of the bit, help with balance and encourage lifting of the back.
The Equi-ami is a very useful aid once a horse is established enough in his lunging routine understanding and obeying commands. It does not restrict lateral movement as many other aids do such as the pessoa as everything moves so horses are more relaxed with it. It is proven to improve stride length as the hamstrings soften and stretch. It is also really good for achieving lift through the shoulders, withers and back.
Fred and Rowena Cook
In the next part of this in-depth series, Fred and Rowena look at problems when single line lunging.
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