Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Pessoa

Today Louie got his first "real" workout in the pessoa. While this is not a name brand Pessoa training system, it's a home creation/replica that cost a small fraction of what the real thing costs. The premise of the device is to encourage a horse to pull their butt underneath them, use their abs, and thereby raise their backs. While not that great for enabling a horse to extend, their ability to enable a horse to "collect" in a sense, is wonderful. For more information on the system, visit this website http://www.doversaddlery.com/pessoa-training-system/p/X1-3026/cn/109/.

We started with this system very loose today just to get used to the idea of it being there. Eventually we want to get him set up with it tight enough to actually produce a rounding of the body, but he needs to be desensitized before we get too fancy with it. I just hooked it to his halter rather than putting him in a bridle. I'd rather have him pull on his nose for now and keep his mouth soft until he's learned how to wear it properly.

We just lunged large circles at all 3 gaits in both directions, and while we struggled to get the right lead at first, we eventually got it- a reminder that we need to work on and develop that lead as we progress.

Louie fought the pessoa for a little bit at first, trying to pull UP on it with his head and traveling in quite the awkward high headed inverted type of frame. But with a little vocal encouragement and reward, Louie was eventually stretching down and floating along with a nice long stride. By the end of the session he lunged as if it weren't even there. More advanced work in the pessoa to be continued. . .

Edited to add: I found a photo of Louie in the pessoa from a few months ago when I first made it, this is essentially the concept, though I need a new surcingle with rings on the girth- oh I love shopping. :) hehe

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