Training Aids Explained Part 2

Training Aids Explained Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of our blog mini series looking at training aids. This blog will concentrate on the pessoa and the market harborough.

The Pessoa

 What is the pessoa?

The pessoa is a system of ropes and pulleys that run along the sides of the horse, with an elastic tensioner positioned behind the quarters. The tensioner is attached to the top of lunging roller. Then two lines run from the tensioner, along either side of the horse, through rings on the roller positioned half way up the horse’s body. They then continue to clip on to the bit rings via a small pulley, before being run to one of several positions on the roller.

 How does it work?

The pessoa creates a connection between the hindquarters and the bit. The tensioner and its supporting lines put gentle pressure on the quarters, encouraging the horse to step further under, and so stretch and lift the back muscles. At the same time the lines running through the bit discourage the horse from raising his head too far by exerting pressure on the mouth. As soon as the horse lowers his head the pressure is removed.

What is the pessoa good for when training a horse?

– Suppleness of the back via a rounder outline
– Increased suppleness will create looser paces
– Developing topline muscle
– Improving the connection from hindquarters to bridle by forming the correct outline
– Improving engagement of the hindquarters, so transferring weight onto the hindquarters and improving balance

Can I ride in the pessoa?

The Pessoa is to be used when lunging only! It is important to remember that when using any training aids, to speak to your instructor for their advice and guidance on usage of the equipment.

Market Harborough

What is a market harborough?

A Market Harborough is in the same family as martingales. The breast strap loops  round the  girth and comes between the horse’s front legs, via a neck strap, before splitting into  two. These  go through the bit rings and then clip on to special reins that have small rings placed  along them  to allow adjustment. The highest ring on the reins that the harborough is clipped onto, the more severe the action of the aid. To begin with, it is advised to start on the lowest rein ring and slowly progress.

How does it work?

The Market Harborough exerts direct pressure onto the bit, and onto the corners of the mouth and bars, when the horse raises his head too far. The rider’s hand will determine the exact action and severity. Once the horse lowers his head the pressure will be released. This training aid should only be used with a snaffle bit.

Can you ride when using a market harborough?

This particular training aid may be used when riding, and is good for pole work, jumping or lunging. But once again, please make sure you are confident in the use of this aid, and if in doubt speak to a professional for advice!

What does the market harborough actually do for your horse?

– The market harborough helps to improve the horses acceptance of the contact
– The horse will gain a greater suppleness of the back through a rounder outline
– Paces may well be improved and increased looseness of the paces through suppleness
– The horse will develop top line muscle
– The use of the aid helps to improve the  connection from the hindquarters to the bridle by forming the right outline