How lungeing in a chambon can develop your horse's topline

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If your horse has a weak topline, he may be reluctant to stretch through his back.

Lungeing in a chambon can encourage a horse that has been moving with a hollow back to stretch his frame down and outwards and swing his hindlegs further under the body.

What is it?

A chambon is made up of two nylon cords that sit on the sides of the face and attach to the bit, a leather headpiece and a leather strap that passes between your horse’s forelegs and loops onto a roller.

The benefits

  • Develops a supple back

  • Encourages a longer, lower frame

  • Develops muscle over your horse’s back and loins

  • Strengthens his hindquarters

  • Develops topline muscle

How does it work?

The chambon mainly relies on poll pressure. If your horse’s topline is undeveloped he needs to be encouraged to take his poll down and forwards – the chambon does just this.

By encouraging correct stretching of the neck, the back muscles, abdominal muscles, topline of the neck and muscles of the haunches all come into play.

As his back begins to lift he’ll start to show more engagement by bringing his hindlegs underneath him.

This can be tricky to achieve under a saddle, which is why lungeing in a correctly fitted chambon is helpful.

Fit first

The correct fitting of the chambon is key and it’s important to remember that it’s not a tool to force your horse to carry his head in a low position. 

The cords should be attached so it’s just taut when your horse is standing normally. Make sure you don’t fit it too tightly.

To find out more about working your horse in a chambon, read the full article in issue 450 – available here.

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