Perfect your horse’s topline with the Pessoa training aid

Pessoa main.jpg

Designed by showjumper Nelson Pessoa, this training aid, when fitted and used correctly, can help to create greater engagement and connection.

Used for short sessions on a regular basis, the Pessoa helps to strengthen your horse’s back and encourage him to work correctly.

It uses a system of ropes and pulleys, which run along your horse’s sides, attaching to the bit, with an elastic tensioner positioned around your horse’s hindquarters.

The tensioner and its supporting lines put gentle pressure on the quarters, encouraging your horse to step under his body with his hindleg, so he stretches and lifts his back.

The benefits

  • A supple back

  • Looser paces due to improved suppleness

  • Develops topline muscle

  • Improves connection from hindquarters to bridle

  • Better engagement of the hindquarters

  • Improves balance

How to fit it

The system of ropes may look a little confusing to begin with, but once you’ve used it a few times, you’ll soon get the hang of what attaches where. 

  1. Put the lungeing roller on your horse and place the hindquarters tensioner over your horse’s back.

  2. Run the two lines from the tensioner along either side of your horse and through the rings on the roller positioned halfway up his body.

  3. Now clip the lines to the bit rings. While you’re fitting, clip both attachments onto your horse’s bit. When you’re ready to start lungeing, move one clip from each side on to the roller.

  4. Attach the V-shaped piece of rope to the top of the roller.

  5. The sheepskin-covered piece sits around your horse’s hindquarters. This rear piece needs to sit just behind his stifle – it can be easily adjusted on either side to fit.

  6. When attaching the front ropes, check they’re of equal lengths. To do this, undo the clip that doesn’t have a pulley and stand in front of your horse holding the ropes.

Find out more about the advantages of using a Pessoa and how to use correctly in the full article in issue 452.

Don’t miss the latest issue of Your Horse Magazine, jam-packed with training and veterinary advice, horse-care tips and the latest equestrian products available on shop shelves, on sale now. Find out what’s in the latest issue here