Alternative ways to us the Pessoa System

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Alternative ways to us the Pessoa System

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    01-24-2013, 09:31 PM
Alternative ways to us the Pessoa System

Would the effectiveness of a Pessoa system be compromised if the ropes were connected to the side rings of a halter or a bitless bridle, instead of the bit? I like the idea of this system, but I don't like how it seems to encourage the idea that pressure on the mouth is good. Not that it's bad, but every horse I've ridden has been on a loose rein, pressure means to slow down or stop. I'd assume pressure on the noseband could achieve the same effect without confusing the horse's knowledge on rein aids. Opinions?

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    01-25-2013, 10:08 AM
Super Moderator
I'm afraid I do not have much good to say about this whole 'system'. It is feebly trying to produce what a rider should get by using their legs and their hands properly. A horse should be 'driven / ridden up into the bridle with the riders legs.

Years ago one used to see reining trainers with 'hock hobbles' on their horses. Now, they all know that the only way to get a horse up into the bridle is with their legs.
    01-25-2013, 03:49 PM
Super Moderator
I agree with Cherie but there are times when 'systems' can help a horse to learn how to use themselves correctly.

I have a horse here that was ridden a lot in draw reins before I had him in my care. He gave the impression of being on the bridle but, he was anything but. He found it almost impossible to stretch down and out.
I ised the Pessoa with him and it helped a great deal, the breeching encouraged him to keep his hocks under him and the way for him to get away from the pressure was to lower his head and work from behind.
Once this was established and he understood, it transferred to the saddle.

I had tried everything to get this horse to go long and low from the saddle but his head was fixed in one place thanks to draw reins.

As for the question of would this work on the noseband then my answer would be 'No' The pressure goes away when the horse lowers his head and works from behind. On a noseband he can and will just accept that he can lean into the pressure.

I will add that just because we have had that dreaded white stuff, commonly known as snow, I have been unable to ride the horses out because of ice on the roads so, they have all been lunged daily. I got more work into them by using the Pessoa on the ridden horses than if they had just been lunged with side reins. They have to work harder.
    01-25-2013, 04:10 PM
Super Moderator
I'm, glad to know that there is actually a good use for them. I have just always looked at them as a 'gimmick' that people tried to replace good hands and legs with. I, too have fought with horses that have been worked on draw reins and German martingales by people that did not know how to use their legs or how to make a horse use himself.
    01-25-2013, 04:52 PM
That is on interesting about face there Cherie, "from nothing good to say", to "Glad there is a use for them" Just wondering if you have ever used the system yourself?

I haven't but I'm seriously considering investing, because the more research I'm doing I'm hearing more good things about this type of system. A lot of people have been recommended them for horses recovering from injury or time off because it is not a gadget to try and force a headset, but more to encourage the horse to work from back to front, and by that improve the muscle tone along the back and neck.

I am just about convinced, but still scared by the price

OP, I don't know if it would work on a nose band, but the idea isn't to put pressure on the horses mouth with this device, it is to try and teach self carriage, so they are very softly on the bit, not leaning into it, and not behind. If it prevented loose rein work afterwards it would not be as popular as it is I think.

Again, merely opinions from research I have done so far, I have never actually used one yet.
    01-25-2013, 11:30 PM
Super Moderator
Nope. One look at them and all I could see is hock hobbles on a reining horse about 20 years ago when all the trainers had them. That was before they figured out how to 'ride' a horse up into the bridle. I also saw one have a kicking, fighting come-apart in hock hobbles and if he did not completely ruin his mouth, I'll bet it took a long time for him to heal his bloody torn up mouth.

I can picture a horse blowing up in one of these things. I'm not going out an buying one by the way. But, I will believe a good horseperson that says they are effective to help fix a legitimate problem. I would like to see before and after videos of them and the difference they made. I know it can be a real problem to get a horse back right that someone has taught to get behind the bit and drag their butt behind them.
Oldhorselady and PunksTank like this.
    01-25-2013, 11:38 PM
Really all you need to do is drive the horse up under itself with a lunge whip and save your self the money.
    01-26-2013, 03:39 AM
Super Moderator
I have just looked at hock hobbles and the Pessoa is very different!
The breeching strap is no different to having a second line across the hocks or, a breeching strap on a driving horse.

I generally do not like 'quick fixes' but there are times when they can be of help.

Churumbeque - When you have a horse that is set with its head, drags itself along driving it up with the whip is not going to make it use itself correctly, all it is going to do is go faster and just as hollow.

The problem with many of these products is when they are misused by tightening them to much and over use.
    01-26-2013, 03:51 AM
Tie a lead rope in a circle and attach it to the pommel of the saddle, then allow it to drop down just above the horse's hocks... making sure that it does not droop too low. Voila! Haunch-engaging strap thing for free! You could even add side reins for the more complete effect.

I use this trick mainly as desentization to the feeling of ropes and things on or near the legs... but it sure will encourage them to tuck that bum. At least until they get used to the sensation and stop worrying about it.
    01-26-2013, 11:41 AM
Originally Posted by Foxhunter    
The problem with many of these products is when they are misused by tightening them to much and over use.

There are a lot of useful aids out there, but only when they are used as designed that is to ENCOURAGE of horse to find a new way of going. The issue comes in when people ratchet things up to the tightest and FORCE the horse.

It really is no different to riding, some people softly encourage and engage, some people have fixed hands and force.

I have always been against so called artificial aids, but since I have been working with the odd balls and rejects I have here I am now firmly in favor of anything that helps me to let them find new ways of going, correctly fitted and used set ups like this provide a more constant feel to a horse than this poor rider. If I were more skilled maybe I would feel differently.

bit, bitless, pessoa

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