What is the Pessoa Training aid - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 03-10-2011, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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What is the Pessoa Training aid

I found an interesting article on the Pessoa Training aid and was wondering if any of you have ever used it and what you think of the item. Thank you

How to use pessoa training aid - by Jenni Hillis - Helium
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post #2 of 23 Old 03-10-2011, 08:44 PM
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Personally, I don't like it. The pulley system works off the hind legs; whenever the horse's hind legs go back, the bit is activated on that side. Thus, the bit is essentially see-sawed back and forth by the horse's own movement.

The lovely images above provided by CVLC Photography cvlphotography.com
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post #3 of 23 Old 03-10-2011, 08:54 PM
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JDI, have you used one before? I've never seen it seesaw the bit as their are rollers on the rope form the hind legs to the bit that slide along the rope when the hind leg goes back thus there is no pull on the bit.
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post #4 of 23 Old 03-11-2011, 01:14 AM
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JDI is correct. It does see-saw. Here are some pictures. BTW I didn't draw that .

You are right, it goes to the surcingle put it doesn't attach to it. If it attached to it, it wouldn't see-saw because the bit would be attached to the surcingle separately from the part behind the legs. Instead, the rope just goes through a ring in the surcingle to keep it from getting to low when the horse lowers its head.

I would not use the pessoa system. It doesn't teach softness, suppleness or relaxation. It just yanks and pulls all over the horse making it more confused. The horse's only choice really is to put its head down. Just because a complicated rope system is forcing a horse into a frame does not make it good. All I see is a bunch of ropes seemingly trying to pull a horse together? Get on the horse and ride it! Ropes don't train horses. If you can't train a horse then you shouldn't be training it. Be as simple as you can with gadgets. Draw reins or side reins(depending on the horse, if you know how to use them and if you have a reason to use them). I use draw reins on my horse to keep his neck straight on the lunge or else it gets bent in three directions. If I put the pessoa system on my horse he'd probably end up at the other end of the arena or flipped over but that's because through bad training he was taught to fight.

This system would be soooooo confusing to a green horse and stupid for a schooled horse. Therefore it has no valid use .
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post #5 of 23 Old 03-11-2011, 01:22 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone, so much for the detailed information. You all made great points.
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post #6 of 23 Old 03-11-2011, 02:31 AM
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SP, once again, there are rollers on the ropes which prevent it from seesawing. Have you actually seen one in use in real life, rather than just reading or looking at drawings?
Because I have seen a Pessoa system used a number of times, and I can tell you from an eyewitness view, that the system ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT 'yank and pull the horses everywhere making it more confused'. The horses that I have seen travelling in a Pessoa system, have gone very sweetly and happily, there was no see sawing action to be seen, the horse can easily raise it's head but the system merely encourages the horse to stretch over the back.
It is a far more user friendly system than side reins, which are a great lunging tool if used in knowledgable hands, as the bum rope is encouraging the horse to engage its hind legs rather than needing the lunger to concentrate soley on the hind legs when in side reins to prevent the horse leaning and falling onto the forehand. The Pessoa also prevents the horse being able to lean against a solid contact, but still gives a constant contact so that it is not being hit in the mouth at every stride.

If the rollers were not on the system, then YES it would be see sawing, but because the rollers are there, as I explained in my previous post, they take the motion of the hind legs moving and allow the contact to the bit to remain steady.

No I do not use the system, I don't feel the need to but I can definitely see its benefit.

As for you comment 'get on the horse and ride it' fair enough if you are a knowledgable enough rider to ask the horse to come together without interfering with it's balance or pulling on the reins/giving inappropriately timed releases, but for many people this is not the case and they need a helping hand. Lunging systems allow the lunger/rider train the horse without the added weight an imbalance of a rider as well. This also encourages a horse to pick up it's back far more readily than it would with a rider on board when it is still only just developing the necessary strength to lift it's back.

You use draw reins on your horse - would you like me to fight tooth and nail about how horrendous the results of draw reins can be? Everything has it's place. Draw reins are certainly not user friendly. I have used them only a handful of times a a very select few horses who travelled inverted and were genuinely confused as to whether they could actually lower the neck. Namely ottbs. Overuse leads to overbending, sucking behind the bridle to evade contact among other issues... so I'd be careful about yelling good and loud about how terrible a Pessoa system is ;)
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post #7 of 23 Old 03-11-2011, 03:00 AM
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I use one, but it is not a full one. It connects across the pole and to the bit, the rest I don't need as I can ask for forward motion while lunging myself.

And why does the poll not match the question?
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post #8 of 23 Old 03-11-2011, 04:03 AM
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gadgetry is no way to achieve proper results
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post #9 of 23 Old 03-11-2011, 05:33 PM
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No, you're right christopher. However they can also assist in getting towards proper results. It's all fine and well to tell people that they should be able to achieve correct work through riding on the natural aids only. But not everyone is capable of this due to lack of experience and knowledge. So artificial aids can really help them out to get a little bit more of an understanding and give them a helping hand.
I am in no way saying that everyone should use an training aid such as a pessoa on every horse, but there are instances where they are beneficial. It would be extremely short sighted of a person to say that everyone should be able to get correct work from a horse under saddle under their own steam. If that were the case why aren't we all international Grand Prix riders?
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post #10 of 23 Old 03-11-2011, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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ALEXS Sorry about the pole not matching the question. I am new to this forum and this is the first pole that I ever created so I thought that I should keep it simple. Next time I will know to make it more specific to the question. Thank you.
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horse training , pessoa , pessoa ao , pessoa trainging aid

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