KIM WESTON Training Equipment


KIM WESTON Training Equipment
Training Equipment
The New Year is underway and many of you are ready
or have already begun your training for the season, so
I thought I would start this year’s training articles with
a brief look at what training equipment is needed.
* For basic lunging:
o A bridle with a loose ring snaffle bit either single or
double jointed.
There is a variety of different devices available and
most trainers will have their favourite equipment
depending on their preferred training system and
Personally, I like to keep it simple (I don’t like cleaning
endless gear!), but there is some basic equipment that
makes the handling and training of horses easier and
the following is what I choose to use for my horses
and discipline (dressage). Whatever equipment you
choose to use, please take the time to understand its
function and how and when it is appropriate to use it:
* For basic ground work training e.g. catching,
leading, loading and tying up ( in other words for
basic handling and manners), I like to have:
(There are literally hundreds of bits available and some
such as the Myler Bits are very useful for horses with
particular problems or unusual shaped mouths. My
feeling is that if a horse is correctly and thoughtfully
trained many contact problems can be avoided and a
basic snaffle is all that is required with most horses.)
o A lunge roller with as many ring settings as possible.
o A well-fitting halter - with side rings that allow a
rope to be threaded through without catching.
o Two 8-9ft long soft reins (used instead of side reins).
o A lunge line & a lunge whip
o A double lunge set (for mouthing, furthering the
horse’s training or for controlled exercise).
o A 10ft, soft to the hand lead rope.
o A 1ft stiff rope lead (rather than a chain).
* For in-hand work:
o A driving whip.
* For riding:
o The same bridle and snaffle bit used for the lunge
work. Choose reins that are easy to hold with a
relaxed hand: some of the thinner or synthetic reins
can slip through the fingers too easily, causing the
rider to clench the rein firmly which is not conducive
to a relaxed hand & contact.
o A nose band that suits the particular horse. A very
young horse will have the halter which acts as a loose
cavesson; I would then move on to a well-fitted drop
noseband, (please check the tightness! You must
be able to slip a least one finger easily under the
and this has become the fashion trend, regardless of
whether the horse requires this last resort of having
its mouth strapped closed or not.
Nosebands can be useful tools when used properly.
It’s worth taking the time to ensure you are being fair
to your horse by using one the right way:
“Different styles of noseband should be fitted according
to their purpose. A horse must be able to part its
teeth and open its mouth slightly (not visible on the
outside) in order to flex correctly at the jaw, relax and
come onto the bit. An excessively tight noseband will
prevent this. If a horse cannot relax its jaw, it will have
problems with proper head carriage, and the rider
may then try to force the horse into position by pulling
back on the reins or using artificial leverage devices.
“The International Society for Equitation Science has
stated that tight nosebands may lead to physiological
stress and mask unwanted behaviour and they
encourage competition rules to be amended to require
horse show stewards to check noseband tightness with
a standardized gauge and see that competitors adjust
their equipment accordingly”.(Restritive nosebands,
International Society for Equitation Science)
o A well-fitting saddle which suits the horse’s level and
type of training.
Where a horse has already learned the evasive action
of crossing its jaw, I would use a Grackle noseband.
Once the double bridle is introduced then only a
cavesson is allowed.
Please contemplate what your horse needs for its
current level of training and use the appropriate
noseband; unfortunately, a lot of bridles are
automatically sold with Flash or Crank nosebands
I have two types of saddles: one with a deep seat,
fairly large knee rolls and a monkey strap(!), for young
or unbalanced horses and one close contact dressage
saddle which allows the rider a great feel for the
horse’s back and freedom to move and adjust the seat
position, well suited for the more balanced horse.
Saddles are a personal preference but so long as
you have one that suits your horse and you feel
comfortable in then it should be fine.
* Training aids:
o Two riding whips: one short and one long.
o A set of spurs: they are a very useful training aid
when used consciously at the correct time. Start with
dummies (though if you can’t control your lower leg
yet, you shouldn’t be wearing spurs).
My personal favourite is a very small set with a small
smooth roller
Other than general health and well-being products:
e.g. boots, bandages, saddle-cloths, helmet etc. and
environments, such as a safe training area and surface
etc., this is all I use for initial training. Each discipline
will then require its specific equipment, e.g. jumps,
dressage markers, training obstacles etc.
The main thing is to understand the function of your
equipment, how to fit it and how and when it is
appropriate to use it.
* And last but not least
o A Clicker: when understood and used correctly, this is
a very powerful and useful training aid and motivator
for all levels of training from groundwork through to
advanced work.
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Happy training!
March 27th _ 29th DWTS
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March 30th – April 2nd
Gold Coast/Brisbane, Qld
April 2nd – 3rd
Townsville, Qld
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0432 600 214
This is a wonderful opportunity to:
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