It is hard to imagine working with a horse without the Chambon. It is used in lunging to correct the horse. The Chambon is an auxiliary rein or a correction aid, which should help your horse to stretch forward and downward. This corrective aid is used to work on the training points of tact and looseness, as it neither dictates a position to the horse nor frames it.
Appearance: What parts does the Chambon consist of?
Basically, the correction aid consists of three parts:
Shock rein/leather strap => is buckled to the girth and passed between the front legs, ends with hook or metal ring (for rope)
Neck piece => is buckled to the neck piece of the snaffle, at both ends there are metal rings for the rope
Rope => with a carabiner at each end
Fastening: How does the buckling work on the horse?
You have to buckle the Chambon similar to the Gogue.
You proceed as follows:
First you attach the neck piece of the correction aid to the bridle. Then you hook the rope with a carabiner to one of the two bit rings of the snaffle. Next, pass the rope through the side ring on the headpiece of the same side and pull it under the gaiters to the other side. Here you pass the rope through the second ring of the neck piece and finally attach it to the equilateral bit ring. Then pull the lunge strap through the loop of the shock rein of the correction aid and pull it between the front legs towards the head.
Finally, hook the shock rein into the middle part of the rope under the horse’s throat. If the shock rein ends with a metal ring rather than a hook, you must pass the rope through it before attaching it to the other side of the bridle.
What is the difference with the gogue?
The gogue differs from the chambon in that the rope does not end at the snaffle rings, but instead runs from the snaffle rings back to the shock reins on both sides, where it is tied down.
Putting on the chambon correctly: How do I find the right length?
It is important to put on the Chambon correctly and to find the right length when adjusting it. Otherwise it will have no effect and can even cause damage:
If you buckle it too short, your horse may not be able to balance with his neck, which can cause stumbling and injury. On the other hand, if you buckle too long, the correction aid will have no effect.
As a guideline: The rope should be taut when the horse’s nose is about a hand’s width above an imaginary horizontal line to the shoulder joint.
One point you should also take into account when determining the length of the chambray is the chosen gait. If the horse works at a walk, the correction aid should be buckled longer, and shorter at a trot or canter.
It is also recommended that the lungeing belt be well padded, as it can rub against the horse’s back or belly when the horse applies counterpressure.
TIP: When you start working with the Chambon, it is best to get help from a trainer. He will tell you exactly how long the straps should be on your horse and what else you should pay attention to.
Effect: How does the Chambon work?
To explain the effect, we must first look at the posture of the horse. Animals like to carry their head high or curled up, which is explained by a lack of muscular strength in the upper neck. The less muscle power the horse has, the more difficult a forward-downward movement is for the quadruped.
In order to achieve a forward-downward stretch, the Chambon is used. Here one tries to bring about a lowering of the head by pressure on the mouth and neck. If the horse raises its head too high when lunging, the pressure on the mouth and neck increases. This decreases when it drops its head down. After some time, the animal has understood the connection and it keeps its head down.
Advantages: What are reasons for the Chambon?
The flexibility of the Chambon allows the horse to have a correct forward-downward stretch, resulting in a nice stretching posture. In doing so, it especially helps horses that have trouble dropping their neck and getting into the desired posture.
So the Chambon is best at showing the four-legged a way into the relaxed forward-downward posture. If you want to work with your horse on other training points, such as leaning, other auxiliary reins, such as the Lauffer rein, are useful.
Disadvantages: Why is the Chambon not only conducive?
The Chambon does not offer your horse any leaning or lateral guidance. So the animal can try to run away over the shoulder. In addition, you must be very careful when buckling: If you buckle too loosely, the correction aid is ineffective. If you buckle too tightly, the horse may stumble and injure himself.
Hints: What else is there to consider?
The Chambon is more of a correction aid for a horse’s posture than an auxiliary rein. You should use it conscientiously. If you don’t use it correctly, you can cause a violent defensive reaction from the horse, which can lead to serious injury.
Horses react differently to the pull in the corner of their mouth, some more sensitive than others. The pull occurs when the bit is pulled up. If the animal pulls its head up as well in response, the pull will be worse, causing isolated panic reactions.
As an alternative for permanent defensive reactions, you can try a neck extender. However, with this the horse will not learn as well how to balance himself.
Before you use the Chambon, you should check if there are not other causes for the present problem. For example, your animal may be suffering from tension in the neck or withers. Consult a veterinarian if necessary. If he has no concerns, the Chambon is a good solution to achieve the desired stretching posture. Of course, this is best done under the supervision of an experienced rider.
TIP: So that your horse does not panic and accepts the correction aid from the beginning, you should accustom him to it slowly and carefully.
Conclusion about lunging with the Chambon
To learn a relaxed forward-downward stretch while training tact and looseness, the Chambon is very suitable for your horse. For further steps in the training of your four-legged friend, other articles about auxiliary reins can help you if necessary, such as the barrel reins for the two focal points of lean and straightness.
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