The EquiAmi lunge aid encourages the horse to work in a soft, round outline, to work with engagement of the hindquarters, and to carry himself. It works by suggestion and reward, and by connecting the whole horse.
The unique, patented design of EquiAmi training aids place the horse inside a self-centering loop. The positioning of the loop of the lungeing training aid encourages the horse to bring its hind legs underneath its hindquarters, to lower its head and shorten its frame. As the horse adopts a more rounded outline, it is immediately rewarded by the training aid becoming looser. When the training aid is working at its best it is applying absolutely no pressure and the horse is working in a relaxed manner. As the loop is self-centering and is not fixed, the horse is unable to lean on the aid so has to learn to balance and carry itself.
Another advantage of the loop system is that it is only necessary to make adjustments to one side of the training aid as it is a loop and self-centres so always remains equal provided it is fitted correctly.
Experts recommend that we work our horses from the ground once or twice a week so that the important muscles that support the saddle can work without pressure. This enables unrestricted blood flow through these muscles to allow them to 'pump-up' and strengthen. This in turn supports the saddle and rider more effectively and lifts the saddle away from the spine when ridden.
The EquiAmi lunging training aid can be fitted to a horse tacked up in a snaffle bridle and lunge roller in just a few minutes. The chest piece is cleverly designed to work with any roller. It has a flat loop to slide over a roller or alternatively this can be unclipped and the chest piece can clip directly on to a roller that has a D ring on the belly section.
EquiAmi Lunge Aid is designed to be used for 20 minutes twice a week for fit competition horses or more frequently at lower intensity for rehabilitation purposes. Whilst not designed for unbroken horses, it can be used as part of a basic training routine, once a young horse is comfortable with a rope or long rein around the hindquarters. Teaching a horse to work through his back from the start makes more sense than making corrections or retraining at a later stage though this is equally well achieved using the EquiAmi lungeing aid.
EquiAmi Premium Lunge Aid is made using the finest materials. The English-made, marine-quality rope has strong, solid brass clips and adjusters. The aid comprises a webbing chest piece, the two colour-coded sections of the lunging loop, an instruction booklet and a DVD that explains how to fit and use the aid, all in a handy hessian storage bag. To watch a video showing how to use EquiAmi please click here.
Pony size is aimed at welsh Sec. A & B ponies and fits approx 11hh - 13hh.
Full size to fit from approx 13hh to 16.2/17hh depending on width and length of forehand.
Extra full is available with a pair of extenders for more room for bigger horses to stretch.
Instructions for use
- Tack up horse with snaffle bridle & cavesson or EquiAmi cavesson with bit straps, bit and lunging roller. Attach chest piece of training aid to belly of roller. Tie the horse up or have a helper to fit rope sections.
- Take hind piece of lunge loop (coded red) and pass one end from back to front through D ring on side of roller.
- Undo safety clip and pass outside D ring and refasten.
- Pass rope around quarters of horse and pass through D ring on opposite side of roller and fasten safety loop on outside of D ring as before.
- Select front piece of lunge loop (coded green) and join to hind piece by fastening one clip to the ring at the end of the hind piece.
- Pass free end through the bit ring from outside to inside, then down and through the oval loop on chest piece, up through the other bit ring from inside to outside and clip to the other end of the hind piece to form a loop.
- Adjust both parts of the loop using the sliding adjusters to create a light ‘contact tension’ (not pulling or sagging) and ensure the D ring on the roller is fairly central in the safety loop to allow some free movement.
- The horse can now be lunged in the normal way, but preferably not directly from the bit as this disturbs the soft, equal contact created by the aid.
What are the main benefits of using the EquiAmi lungeing aid?
1.Easy to fit: less than two minutes to a horse prepared for lungeing.
2.Readily accepted: free movement & lack of tension means less resistance.
3.Simple to adjust: the loop doesn’t require both sides to be adjusted.
4.Soft equal contact: the aid self-centres giving the horse a soft, equal contact.
5.Self-centring: no adjustment required for changes of rein.
6.Easy to un-tack: quickly comes apart for un-tacking.
7.Saves time: quick and easy to use and saves time in professional yards.
8.Easy to use: makes lungeing less intimidating for inexperienced users.
9.DVD instructions: comes with a DVD and fully illustrated instruction booklet.
10.Storage: comes in a Hessian storage bag to hang in the tack room.
How does it work?
When we ride our horse, we ride it in a loop. This loop consists of our right arm, right shoulder, left shoulder, left arm, left hand, left rein, the bit, the right rein, the right hand and back to the right arm. This loop gives and takes with the horse as he lengthens and shortens and moves with the horse around turns and circles to keep a soft, consistent contact. We are taught that, in order to have softness and acceptance in the horse, we need to keep a soft, consistent contact with the horse via this communication loop. When there is tension or rigidity in the loop caused by fixed hands or tight arms, we are met with resistance and tension in the horse.
We lunge our horses to give them exercises to do that build up their musculature and fitness in order to improve their performance under saddle, yet when we lunge them we generally put them in a training aid that places them in some sort of restraint by fixing or applying pressure. This is the opposite of what we endeavor to achieve under saddle. It is far more logical to lunge the horse in a training aid that works in a similar way to the way we ride them; to encourage a soft consistent contact and to discourage leaning and resistance.
The unique patented design of EquiAmi training aids place the horse inside a self-centring loop. The positioning of the loop of the lungeing training aid encourages the horse to bring its hindlegs underneath its hindquarters, to lower its head and shorten its frame by developing wither lift. As the horse adopts a more rounded outline, it is immediately rewarded by the training aid becoming looser. When the training aid is working at its best, it is applying absolutely no pressure and the horse is working in a relaxed manner. As the loop is self-centring and is not fixed, the horse is unable to lean on the aid so has to learn to balance, lighten and carry itself. The safety loop that is incorperated in the lungeing aid allows sufficient free movement for all horses whilst preventing the horse from catching itself in the mouth at each stride.
Most training aids work by pressure or restraint. In our experience, horses tend to respond better to working inside a loop than to any type of restriction or pressure and riders are generally rewarded by a new level of balance, consistency, relaxation and harmony in their horse’s work.
Side reins, draw reins and most other gadgets and devices work by pressure and restraint. Side reins give a horse a crutch to lean on in the same way as hand rails do for us. Try this yourself: walk upstairs using the handrail, then walk upstairs without using the handrail. Do you notice how your posture changes? Using the handrail, you tilt to one side and do not use your back effectively. Take away the handrail and your posture immediately becomes more upright and level.
Any training aid that fixes the front end can have this effect; causing horses to lean. Leaning is not desirable for two reasons.
Horses that lean are not nice to ride, becoming heavy in the hand and through the steering. For a rider to enjoy their horse, this is a definite no no! Horses heads are very heavy, they should carry their heads themselves.
Leaning encourages the development of the lower neck muscles and we prefer our horses to develop a good topline, while keeping the lower neck muscles soft. You can check this for yourself. If you stand upright in a normal, relaxed manner and feel your neck, you will find that the muscles at the back of your neck are firm whils the muscles on either side at the front of your neck are soft. Now lean your chin on your other hand and feel what happens. You will notice how the muscles at the front of your neck immedaitely contract to support this new posture. When a horse leans it allows the lower neck muscles to build up, doing the work that the upper neck muscles should be doing. This in turn means that the desired development of the upper neck muscles that produce the topline is impaired.
Horses become resentful of draw reins as they soon realise that the more you pull, the lower they have to go. This resentment shows through their work and often these horses become behind the vertical and behind the bit, whilst not necessarily engaging.
It can sometimes take a horse a few sessions to work out that in EquiAmi training aids, we are not doing anything to them. It is up to them to work in the loop, and once they do, the results are amazing as resistance disappears, softness and swing become part of their workout and many horses are completely transformed.
Isn't this just the same as other training aids that are available?
Absolutely not! We have been granted a full UK patent for EquiAmi training aids; something that we are very proud of. It is different and is now officially recognised as being different and novel. Once you have seen it working you begin to see the difference.
I want to try a training aid, but I am sure that I will find it too complicated to use and adjust.
The EquiAmi training aids are very user friendly. Both aids are self-centring so you don’t have to worry about adjusting both sides equally, and no adjustment is need for changes of direction. This saves both time and hassle. The adjusters were chosen as they are easy to use even when wearing gloves.
Is there any point in buying a training aid for a competition horse with no particular problems?
It is good for your horse’s back for him to be worked from the floor once or twice a week. Using the EquiAmi lungeing training aid, your horse can have a good workout in a relatively short time and this can be very useful during fittening work. We often neglect the important muscles that support the saddle and rider. Under saddle the blood flow can be restricted in this area. By allowing these muscles to 'pump up' in a gymnastic workout as provided by use of the EquiAmi lungeing aid, they will be better able to support the saddle away from the spine therefore improving both comfort and performance.
My horse has a habit of resisting the bit, especially in transitions. Will the EquiAmi riding training aid help me to resolve this?
Undoubtedly, as this aid helps the horse to accept the hand, and to establish a much lighter, lower and softer contact with the bit.
What happens if my horse doesn’t like the training aid?
In our experience, horses generally accept the training aid quite quickly as it does not pull or force them into a shape. It quietly encourages them to work in a softer rounded outline then rewards them for doing so. Many people are amazed at how well their horses go and how little resistance is offered.
Will the training aid rub my horse?
In our experience of use on many different horses, no horses have been rubbed. The rope was chosen, as it is high strength yet very soft and light. When fitted and used according to the instructions, the aids are never tight, or used for long periods. Our motto is 'if it's tight; it's too tight'. The hind piece is not much more than a fillet string and as it is used for short periods only, no issues have been found.
How soon can I expect to see my horse improve using the EquiAmi lungeing training aid?
Sometimes it can take a horse two or three sessions before they learn to ‘work inside the loop’ though this often happens quite quickly. You can then expect to see your horse start work in a better outline. As with any work to change muscle profile, it takes several weeks to increase muscle mass. You will know yourself that one or two sessions in the gym are not enough to create a ‘six-pack’ from untrained muscles. Changes that are brought about over time are less stressful for the horse and more likely to be long-term in nature.
Feedback from top international riders
Jonty Evans has been eventing for over 20 years. He has successfully represented Ireland internationally and travels to competitions around the world.
'When I was first introduced to the EquiAmi, I was a bit cynical and assumed it was the same as other training aids used for lungeing. I couldn't have been more wrong, the EquiAmi guides a horse, provides no resistance for the horse which results in a soft, harmonious way of going that leads to improved engagement and above all self-carriage. My advice is simple - get one, you won't regret it.'
Jane Bartle-Wilson former British Olympic dressage rider
'I have been using the EquiAmi for at least 5 years. This simple system can be adapted for horses at different stages of development, and will help them achieve a correct working balance. It can be adjusted to encourage the use of core muscles, and does this without putting the horse on the forehand. I particularly like the effect of the sliding rein that allows for a controlled but uphill canter. When I’m away, my two Advanced dressage horses are left for others to work. The EquiAmi is so easy to fit and adjust; I can set a programme than can include some loosening / stretching work, as well as some work in collection. I have recommended this to many clients, who have also found it very useful. It is a well made quality training aid and properly adjusted is not forceful in any way'.