Kareen Miller Jumping | 120 Questions | 178 Answers

Starting from which age can we begin to use training aids for our young horses?

Starting from which age can we begin to use training aids for our young horses?
2
I don't think the majority of people use sidereins to force an outline. I think its a natural progression in lunging. Once the horse understands what forward means, its time to step things up a bit.
Side reins, and a chambon (which I think is a bit gentler then side reins) help balance a horse and should invite the horse to reach for the bit. It's not a shortcut to force an outline but it can help show a horse how to stretch and accept some contact before a rider gets on his back!
I prefer not to use them personally. With a bit of skill and thought it's perfectly possible to get a horse working well on the lunge with no gadgets at all. My youngster (four and a half) is lunging off a headcollar atm, has been introduced to the roller too. He has worn a bit, and in the next few weeks I'll put him in some vienna reins on the lunge just so that he gets the idea of accepting a contact before backing :)
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