Welcome back to day number 2 of the challenge! How did yesterday go for you? Were you able to get your tack room organized, and ready to tack up faster? I hope so!
After making you go through all of that, I won’t be focusing on riding today, sorry! But for myself personally, I find that lunging has it’s own benefits, and a few times a week, I like to use my riding time as lunging time for Frisby.
And when I am lunging my horse, I want him to actually get something out of it. You know, work? And I found something that I am really enjoying, and it fits in perfectly with my challenge. For this real riding challenge, lunging tools are helpful tools!
Like I have mentioned before, Frisby is ultra lazy. This horse has the theory work smarter, not harder down. And one of my biggest challenges with him is that he is so lazy. And by spending an entire ‘lesson’ lunging him, it helps. So this is what we are going to work on today.
Balance Training System
And this post is sort of a review at the same time. I recently bought the balance training system. Which is a tool to help your horse with stretching, and muscle building. The system helps the horse to use his body correctly, with transferring his power from the front end to his hind end. I like to think of the hind end of the horse like the motor of a car, this is where the power comes from to propel him forward. And Frisby needs all the help he can get in order to go forward. which is why I bought this.
I liked this system the best of any that I saw, first because of the cost. It was the most affordable. Secondly, I like that everything you need to work your horse is included (minus the lunge line, you still need your own lunge line.)
So this is what is included in the system:
- Lunge Caveson
- Headstall with snaffle bit
- Breeching strap
- Bungee lines
This is a fantastic deal, for everything you get with the kit. And it comes packaged in a nice box with instructions on the back, showing you how to use the system.
Not The Best For Big Horses
The first thing I noticed when I pulled everything out of the kit is that a few of the items are too small for Frisby. This kit only comes in one size, which should fit most horses. That is unless you have a beast of a horse like Frisby.
Frisby is too long for this set-up. And his mid section is too large for the surcingle. But it is fine for Ethan. Frisby is 16.3h and Ethan is about 15.3-16 hands tall. And while it works for Ethan, it doesn’t for Frisby.
The headstall barley fits Frisby’s big head, but the bit fits fine. And the lunge caveson is very nice, but barley fits Frisby. I am thankful that it does fit though, because I really like it!
So if your horse is tall, and more importantly, long, this system may need some tweaking to work with your horse. Or you can do what I did, and McGyver your own set up.
Making It Work For Frisby
To make this system work for Frisby I had to remove the lines from the breeching strap, and make my own. I am still working on the perfect length, but the rope that I have is working.
The lines for the hook up from the breeching that run along Frisby’s sides and to the bit are ok. They are bungee like ropes and have some flex, so these work ok.
Since the surcingle didn’t fit him, I had to use the one I already had, and it works fine with this system.
I use the surcingle with a saddle pad for protection, and I put him in the caveson with the headstall and bit, and attach the breeching strap at the hitching post. I wait to attach the long side lines when we get out to the arena.
It is a little bit confusing of how to attach the lines, but once you have it figured out, it gets easier each time you use the system.
How To Use The Balance Training System
When your horse is in the entire get up, he will look like a circus horse. Which is kind of cool, if you like circus horses. And the first time you use it, only do it for a little bit, like 5 minutes in each direction, and only go at the walk and trot.
The instructions say to use this system 2 to 3 times a week, and no longer than 20 minutes, because it really does work the muscles!
I started Frisby in walk, and when he was accustom to how it felt, we moved up to trot.
I did this in both directions.
And after 3 sessions, he fully understood what the ropes did, and how to work with them.
Does The Balance Training System Really Work?
And something amazing happened the first time I rode Frisby after using this system, his head was down and he wasn’t stretching out of my hands. I didn’t have a martingale on him. And I wasn’t doing anything differently than I do any other time that I ride.
I noticed an improvement in how he was carrying himself, and not trying to escape my contact by turning himself into a giraffe.
I had no artificial aids, or anything on him and he was better! I am really impressed, and happy. So it looks like my investment was worth it!
If you use this tool as it is intended, yes, it works. And to be able to see results like this so quickly is impressive.
Where To Find The Balance Training System
You can find the Balance Training System on Amazon for $99.99, but at the time of writing this, they only had 2 left in stock at this price. I bought mine at Jeffers for $109.99. But please keep in mind, if your horse is over 16 hands, it may not fit him correctly, and you may have to do some doctoring to make it fit. Or do what I did and buy some cotton rope to make your own breeching lines. I bought 1/4″ cotton rope for $15.00 for 25 feet on Amazon.
If you have been searching for a tool to help you with your horse, I would highly recommend this product. I am so excited to see Frisby’s progress through the month, and see the end result. And I think this tool is an excellent addition to my training arsenal. Once Ethan is clear to return to work, I will definitely be using this with him!
And if you are wanting something to help you with your own challenge, I created a workbook that you can download and fill out with your own goals. You can find it in this blog post. Happy riding!