In-Hand and Groundwork Equipment
Katie uses a leather Cavesson/Serreta with a metal chain nosepiece covered in leather.
A lightweight lunge line with a lightweight clip.
A bamboo cane
A schooling whip
Treats (long strips of carrot are handy for stretches)
Why use a Cavesson?
The Cavesson or Serreta Katie uses has a metal chain in the noseband covered in leather to protect the horse’s nose. The reason she uses the chain noseband is because it curves perfectly around any horse’s nose, whatever shape and allows you a greater control over the horses head position. Katie finds the solid metal noseband too rigid but the chain just perfect. The leather or nylon only cavessons (without the chain) allow for a greater amount of human error, whereas the chain requires the human to be much more subtle and concise with their commands, which then conveys through to their riding. With a soft noseband you can pull too hard or be too sharp, with a leather covered chain you must learn to respect the horse and vice versa. The metal chain can seem a harsh tool but due to the way it moulds to the horse’s nose, in the right hands it is a comfortable, concise training aid.
Katie uses the cavesson for lunging and in-hand work, it enables her to encourage healthy posture, self-carriage and balance.
Katie feels it helps her better control the horse’s bend without encouraging head tilt. Sometimes when we are riding or lunging in a bridle the horse can try to tilt his head to evade the aids, this is especially apparent when you lunge in a bridle as the pressure is uneven in the mouth, causing the horse to twist/tilt his neck, thus altering his balance and posture.
With a correctly fitting cavesson you can encourage the horse to work in front of the vertical, with a good even bend with no twisting or tilting of the head. This in turn develops a nice supple neck and the whole body is more supple.
Being able to work your horse without a bit and saddle is so lovely as you can teach him things on the ground without any interference from the rider’s hands, legs or balance and let them work out new movements first, then under saddle. The horse is free from restriction, able to move his body as nature intended.
We will be getting some of the Cavessons/Serretas in stock for those who wish to buy one to work their horse, and I have one for you to try before you buy.