Horse ownership certainly does feel different at the moment, doesn’t it? Whether you’re a busy front-line worker, a parent trying to home school or you’re currently furloughed, I bet it’s altered the time you spend with your horse. We don’t know when competitions will resume, and the normal fun of summer yard BBQs and pub rides are looking unlikely for the foreseeable future. Whether your time in the saddle is simply for pleasure or for work, there’s a debate among horsey folk – is it’s OK to ride at the moment? Some people feel that the risk of being injured would place unnecessary pressure on emergency services and the NHS, others feel they know and trust their horses. Everyone agrees that time spent in equine company is good for the soul!
So, if you’ve had to pause your horse’s training programme due to the pandemic or if you’re carrying on in the hope that equestrian sport will start up again this summer, I’d love to share with you why the EquiAmi Lunge Aid might be the best tool in your tack room at the moment to keep your horse fit. EquiAmi Lunge Aid is a unique and patented training tool which has been carefully designed to encourage the horse to balance and carry itself. It gives them a good workout in a relatively short time – perfect if you’re not allowed to spend much time at the yard. Here’s a brief explanation of how it works!
The overall aim of a collected horse is for them to be working forward in a soft and responsive outline with engaged hindquarters. So many riding and lunging ‘aids’ (side reins, draw reins) simply apply pressure to the horse’s head and neck carriage. The only reward for the ‘correct’, often fixed, outline is reduction of pressure on the mouth or poll. When we ride a horse in an outline the aim is for our hands, arms and leg contact to be responsive. We give and take as the horse moves and travels in circles or straight lines, forming a ‘loop’ of contact that is released when the horse is soft and accepting.
The EquiAmi Lunge Aid is also based on a loop, with the training aid encouraging the horse to bring its legs under its hindquarters, lower its head and shorten its frame. The Lunge Aid comprises of a webbing or leather chest piece (standard or premium version of the product) and marine-grade ropes that form the ‘loop’ of the lunging aid. It’s cleverly designed and it’s very quick to adjust when you change the rein – the loop ‘self-centres’, so you only need to alter one side.
If your horse is already fit and capable of working in an outline, I’d advise using the EquiAmi for up to 20 minutes, twice a week. If you’ve decided to only head out for gentle hacks at the moment, it’s a wonderful way to ensure your horse maintains the ability topline muscle. Working a horse in this ‘loop’ but not under saddle with the weight of a rider allows all-important unrestricted blood flow to muscles in the back. Plus, as I mentioned earlier, it gives them a really good workout in a short space of time. For horses who are coming back into work or part of a rehab programme, starting with the EquiAmi for shorter periods of time and building up towards 20 minutes is advised. The same is true if you’ve decided to stop riding your horse at the moment and they’ve been enjoying a grass holiday for the past month or so! Allow the horse time to build their muscle tone back up and encourage a relaxed and soft outline.
The EquiAmi Lunge Aid is used by a number of leading riders and producers, but it’s a great tool for any rider to have in their tack room. Why not take a closer look and see how it can help your horse during lockdown and beyond! https://www.equiami.com/Lunge-Aid/