Cavesson or bridle? How to fit them both correctly for lungeing

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Lungeing is a fantastic form of exercise for all horses. However, if it’s not done correctly it can cause more problems than it solves.

It’s not just about your lungeing technique; it all starts with knowing how to fit and use all the necessary lungeing equipment.

Here we compare using a cavesson and bridle, and how to fit and use them correctly.

A lunge cavesson is made from webbing or leather and has a number of rings on the front of the noseband for the lunge line to attach to.

Some prefer to lunge off a cavesson so you’re not controlling your horse via his bit.

Fitting a lunge cavesson 

1.    Check that you can slide one finger between your horse’s face and the lunge cavesson

2.    The noseband should sit a thumb’s width below the bottom of your horse’s cheekbone

3.    The strap that fastens under the jaw keeps the cavesson stable, so it needs to fit snuggly with room for one finger

4.    If you want to fit a bridle over the top of the cavesson, remove the noseband, reins and browband from the bridle so that it fits as comfortably as possible. 

Lungeing from a bridle

This can offer a little more control and encourage your horse to bend his neck, but consider if you’re going to be using a training aid (such as side reins) too – attaching both lunge line and training aid to the bit can give conflicting messages.

There are two main ways to attach the lunge line to the bit:

1.    Over the head – run the line through the inside bit ring, up the side of your horse’s head and across his poll, then clip it to the outside bit ring (facing outwards, so it doesn’t rub his cheek).

2.    Under the chin – pass the lunge line through the bit ring, under the horse’s chin and fasten it on the opposite bit ring.

To find out more about lungeing equipment and fit read the full article in issue 449.


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