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KimA 03-23-2007 01:47 AM

De Gogue
I am new to this forum and am desparately seeking some advice about a De Gogue. I own a lovely 15.3 Fresian cross Thoroughbred mare. She is six years old and I have had her for less than a year now. She has never been schooled properly by previous owners, and as a result of a combination of factors, including her Fresian blood she has a very high head carriage. She has developed incorrect muscles on the underside of her neck as apposed to the ridge of her neck, due to incorrect schooling and does not engage her hind quaters as a result of this.

My instructor has advised me to ride her in a De Gogue in order to try and develop the correct muscles in her neck, but I am getting so many different and very severe opinions regarding this device. I am not a hugely experienced rider, but do have soft hands and work diligently on a correct seat. My instructor is a very experienced woman, but everyone I have spoken to so far as completely lambasted me about using a De Gogue.

Please if anyone has a constructive opinion regarding this?

kristy 03-23-2007 02:43 AM

I disagree with your instructor. I think she is working backwards. The correct head position should be a RESULT of forwardness, submission and engagement. Once you have accomplished this, you will have a relaxed and active back, swinging quarters, tracking up, forwardness, relaxation along with a correct frame.
I know that an ideal horse shouldn't need gadgets, but this isn't always realistic. If I am to use a gadget for dressage purposes, it is normally going to be side reins to encourage contact with the bit while maintaining forwardness. Once again, when this is accomplished, a correct frame will result.
If I were to use a gadget in this situation, I would check into the Alliance back lift. It seems to be the most suitable. Even with this equipment, I would only try it at a lunge.
Personally, I would still try to avoid these at all cost, it may easily makes things much worse for your horse.

hsharp123 03-23-2007 09:55 AM

Hi, Kristy what is an alliance back lift? I have never heard of one and being nosey!?

Sorry i agree i wouldnt use a de gogue. I feel these 'gagets' force an outline rather than the horse working forwards and correctly into an outline.
You will find that most horses tell you when its right for the head carriage to be correctly held. As at the right speed (forwards motion), and with the correct balance and aids the head carriage almost comes naturally-light and without leaning or resistance. With your horse its a case of undoing whats been taught which is always more difficult. But it is do-able!! So dont dispair. :)

Does she resist strongly to your aids when it comes to asking for correct head carriage? Or does she accept it for a few seconds and then throw her head back up to its usual carriage possition?

Elz x

Robyn-Niagara 03-23-2007 12:09 PM

sorry, couls someone tell me what a "de gogue" is? is is some training aid i've heard of it but i don't actually know what one is used for! :oops:

meggymoo 03-23-2007 12:56 PM

The de Gogue was developed by the French horseman Rene de Gogue. He theorized that poorly or unschooled horses had three points of resistance: the poll, the mouth, and the base of the neck. The triangular system was designed to release that tension.

Fittings of the de Gogue
The de Gogue has two fittings: the independent and the command.

The Independent Fitting
This is used for longeing or free-schooling the horse, when the trainer is dismounted, and some trainers also begin early mounted schooling in the Gogue. The Gogue is made a leather piece with cords attached. These cords fork at the horse's chest and each run through one of the bit rings. The cord then follows the cheekpiece of the bridle up to a ring or pulley at the side of the browband, before going back down to snap to the leather piece near the chest. The leather extends so that it can attach to the girth.

The horse is therefore "in control" of the action of the Gogue: when he keeps his head in the acceptable position, the Gogue has no effect. When he sticks his nose out or raises his head, the Gogue comes into action, raising the bit in his mouth and applying slight pressure to the poll.

The Command Fitting
This is for use during mounted work. The leather piece of the Gogue is attached to the girth, and it forks near the chest into two cords. The cords are then run to the rings or pully at the browband, down the cheekpieces, and through the bit ring. From the bit ring they go toward the rider's hands, and snap onto shortened Gogue reins (which have metal rings at the end specifically for this purpose).

The rider should also ride with reins attached in the "normal" position to the bit, so he may use the Gogue rein as needed. Additionally, it can be jumped in (it has been used in competition) or ridden in cross-country. :)

kristy 03-23-2007 05:31 PM

I certainly wouldn't recommend it cross-country.

Robyn and hsharp, if you go to the link it will describe it in detail.

meggymoo 03-24-2007 04:32 AM

I wouldn't use it either, I just thought that piece of info might describe it to Robyn-Niagra. :)
Someone on my old yard went hunting with one on once!! Much to alot of disapproval, but she ignored our opinion/advice. Spent nearly the whole day with it on! :evil: Her instructor/trainer had advised her to use it, so that was what she did, it didn't matter what we said to her!

He was sore for quite a while after, but she wouldn't accept that it was the De Gogue, and still continued to work him in it.

I left soon after that so dont know what happened. :(

kristy 03-24-2007 06:04 PM

^^ That's very cruel. Sometimes people need to realize all trainers make mistakes. And I certainly wish that trainer wouldn't give any more advise.

anni257 03-24-2007 06:15 PM


prettypalfrey 03-24-2007 08:00 PM

Is the De gogue like a martingale?

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