Whether you are doing a full groundwork session, giving them a quick leg stretch after time in the stable or letting them get some energy out before a ride, lunging a horse is a useful skill to master. In order to lunge a horse effectively, you’ll need a lunging cavesson. This is almost a cross between a bridle and a headcollar, as it has several metal rings fitted on the noseband to clip a lunge rein to. Each cavesson is designed slightly differently, but a good product will have padding and three metal rings on the noseband for the attachment of a lunge line or training aids. Most will be padded and fully adjustable with buckles on the headpiece and noseband for ensuring the most comfortable fit.

Some lunging cavessons go a step further and are anatomically designed with the horse’s delicate facial structures in mind. A few also come with detachable bit clips, which means you can add a bit if one is required for your chosen training aid without having to fit a bridle underneath the cavesson.

It is possible to lunge a horse from a bridle or cavesson, or use both in conjunction — which you opt for usually comes down to personal preference. A lunging cavesson offers more versatility than a bridle, as it has more fastenings (rings) to clip attachments to. Many riders prefer to lunge from a cavesson so they don’t interfere with their horse’s mouth. Using a bridle and cavesson together, or a cavesson with detachable bit clips, means you can use a lunging aid such as side reins or a Pessoa without the lunge line interfering with the horse’s mouth, as this is clipped onto the cavesson nose ring, so signals aren’t confusing.

Personal choice: lunge cavesson or bridle?

I have two horses: my Irish sports horse Romeo and an ex-racer called Alfie. Depending on the type of lunging session I plan to do with each horse, I’ll use different tack. There are two training aids I use with Romeo: an EquiAmi or bum bands. He tends to be quite on the forehand as he’s very short coupled, so these gadgets help to get him to lift through his core and back.

Romeo is also known for whizzing around, so having a training aid on helps to keep him focused. When I use the EquiAmi I like to lunge him in a bridle and cavesson; it means the lunge line doesn’t interfere with the training aid, as this one attaches to the bit. When he’s in the bum bands, I’ll opt for either a cavesson or his bridle, as these don’t attach to the bridle. 

As an ex-racehorse, Alfie hasn’t quite got the memo about lunging just yet, so we do very short sessions without any training aids. If I don’t plan to ride afterwards then I’ll use the lunge cavesson, as he has a sensitive mouth. If I’m just doing a five-minute leg stretch before I hop on to ride, I’ll just lunge in his bridle with a bit coupling. 

Shop for a lunging cavesson

The type of lunging cavesson you select will depend on your needs and budget. Take a look at a few below:

Hy Equestrian Lunge Cavesson"The

Colour: Black

Sizes: Small, large

This fully adjustable lunging cavesson has a padded base and strong metal nose fittings. It has stainless steel fixtures and features a browband attachment.

Buying in the UK? RRP £25.50 Purchase here

International shipping available

Showmaster Lungeing Headcollar Freedom The Showmaster Lungeing Headcollar Freedom

Colours: Black, marine, oregano

Sizes: Shetland pony, pony, cob, full, extra full

This lunging cavesson also functions as a headcollar and bitless bridle. It has an adjustable headpiece, chin strap and throat lash. The curved ring on the left cheekpiece prevents pressure caused by the snap hook.

Buying in the UK? RRP £14.90 Purchase here

European shipping available 

Claridge House Leather Cavesson Soft & LightThe Claridge House Leather Cavesson Soft & Light

Colour: Black

Sizes: Shetland pony, pony, cob, full, extra full

This lightweight leather cavesson has three metal rings for lunge line or rein attachments.

Buying in the UK? RRP £54.90 Purchase here

European shipping available 

Shires Fleece Lined Lunge Cavesson "The

Colours: Blue, pink, navy

Sizes: Pony, cob, full, extra ful

This lunging cavesson has a plush fleece padding on the noseband and headpiece for comfort. It is fully adjustable and comes in a choice of fun colours.

Buying in the UK? RRP £19.99 Purchase here

International shipping available 

EquiAmi Lunge Cavesson"The

Colour: Black

Sizes: Pony, cob, full

The EquiAmi Lunge Cavesson is lightweight and soft, providing a close fit to eliminate any pinching or rubbing. The broad noseband provides improved comfort for the horse and the detachable bit straps means it can be used without a bridle.

This lunging cavesson was placed as runner-up in the BETA 2012 innovation awards.

Buying in the UK? RRP £47 Purchase here

Kincade Lunge Cavesson"The

Colour: Black

Sizes: Cob, full

The Kincade lunge cavesson has a padded nose and wide straps.

Buying in the UK? RRP £32.99 Purchase here

International shipping available 

Waldhausen Anatomic CavessonThe Waldhausen Anatomic Cavesson

Colour: Black, brown

Sizes: Pony, cob, full, extra full

This lunging cavesson has an anatomical cut to provide greater freedom of the ears and cheekbone. It is made from high quality leather and has soft padding for comfort. It can be used with or without a bit.

Buying in the UK? RRP £79.99 Purchase here

International shipping available 

Whitaker LCAV Lunge Cavesson"The

Colour: Navy

Sizes: Cob, full

This lunging cavesson is fully adjustable with three D-ring attachments on the noseband. It is made from strong webbing and has a padded noseband.

Buying in the UK? RRP £39.95 Purchase here

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