In August of this year, I went riding with a good friend of mine on my new lease horse. We were planning on having a chill day with the horses, just a nice stroll on a warm summer day. It ended up with my new horse freaking out, as we had never ridden in the field that we were in. Before that, we had only worked together in the round pen and in the arena that was stationed down the road. Being in the field was huge change for her.
After that incident though, I only rode in the arena and in the round pen, never in the field. But by the beginning of November, we had outgrown the round pen and the arena was not accessible every day that I was out to ride. My lease horses owner had picked up a cheaper version of the Pessoa Training System for us to try. I lunged and did dressage in it for a good month and a half. Now, training and lunging aids are a very controversial topic in the horse community practically anywhere you go, just like bits, whips, spurs, etc. I wasn’t into lunging/training aids nor did I know anything about them until using the Pessoa Training System. My lease OTTB mare is a hot headed wreck and really needed something more than just me. Something more consistent. Diva (my lease mare) has really benefited from this tool. She’s learned how to work on the vertical and in the correct form. Her top line has built up tremendously and she’s also learned that when it’s work time, it’s focus time. This product has worked absolute wonders.
Now I rode in that field with the Pessoa Training System on for the whole month and a half, but only three or so times a week. Just the other day, I had a jumping lesson in the field (yes, the disaster field) and it was wonderful. This was the first time I had ridden out there without the system but my horse was focused. She knew that it was time to work and learn and she was ready. We did exercises that really challenged her brain and even then, this horse being one that when things get hard she shuts down, kept going. She was willing to learn and there is no better feeling than that.
The Pessoa Training System is not something I would recommend using for long periods of time, all the time. But using is a couple times a week has really made a huge difference. The original version does retail for just over $200.00 but the ‘knock off’ by Horze Equestrian works just as well for only $40.00 or $50.00. The cheaper version holds up really nicely. It’s easy on and off and can assist you in creating a strong and focused horse.