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Chambon v. Neck Stretcher

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  • Chambon v. Neck Stretcher

    Okay... I am not trying to start a debate on whether it is proper to use these "tools" or not. I am simply trying to educate myself on the difference/distinction between the two.

    I know what the chambon is and I have used one before, but how is it different than the neck stretcher? I have looked at the description for the neck stretcher and it seems to be very similar. They both seem to encourage the same behavior and assist in the proper way of going.

    So, in your experience what is the difference (if there is one) and which one do you prefer? Also, have you used them on different horses for different reasons? If so, please elaborate.

    ETA: How do either of the above (chambon or neck stretcher) compare to regular old draw reins in your experience?

    Thanks in advance! There are so many "tools" now that I can't keep up.
    Last edited by LoveJubal; Dec. 2, 2012, 10:25 PM. Reason: addition
    ALP
    "The Prince" aka Front Row
    Cavalier Manor

  • #2
    If I were to use one of these, it would be the chambon. The neck stretcher can really encourage curling behind the bit because it puts pressure on the bars of the mouth. The chambon will encourage the head to go down, but won't pull the nose toward the chest.

    Comment


    • #3
      None of those items "assist in the proper way of going." All of the above actually impede the proper way of going and create a false frame.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Thanks Satin Filly! Ihave a follow-up stupid comment/question. I am assuming that the curling behind the bit comes from the neck stretcher being run with the adjustable piece over the poll through the rings on the bit and then being hooked to the ring on the girth. I don't think it is hooked to the bit, right?

        I was looking at this picture of it and there is no real description of how it is hooked up.
        ALP
        "The Prince" aka Front Row
        Cavalier Manor

        Comment


        • #5
          I found the chambon very helpful when I had a project horse a few years ago, who liked to evade contact with his rider, and generally did everything short of being a complete PITA to avoid working. He was also a lesson horse, but needed quite the tune up.

          In the beginning just to encourage him to stretch down and relax, I would use the chambon for just a few minutes 5-7 on the lunge before riding. It was a good reminder for him that it was way easier to stretch and work long and low rather than fighting fighting fighting all the time.

          We also took many many dressage lessons that supplemented this and re-taught him how to work into the contact and accept it and work from the hind end.
          Worry, doubt, fear and despair are the enemies which slowly bring us down to the ground and turn us to dust before we die.

          ~ Douglas MacArthur

          Comment


          • #6
            The neck stretcher asks for the horse to drop by putting pressure on the pole area, so the horse drops at the pole...typically by breaking at the 3rd vertebra. Can be used to make a fractious horse safer by keeping it in a submissive frame.

            The chambon asks the horse to drop by putting pressure up on the corners of the mouth, so the horse drops as a reaction to this upwards pressure, encouraging it to break at the atlanto occipital joint. yes, there may be some pole pressure, but only if the pressure at the mouth is really strong, as the way the pullies work, the pressure will focus on the mouth first.

            You can check this pressure/reaction by lifting up on the bit to the horse's eye, the pressure may have to get strong at first, but when the horse gives, it will give DOWN even though you are lifting up.

            The bit pressure of the chambon will be easier to transfer to rein pressure vs the pressure given by the neck stretcher.

            The chambone is meant for longing, as it is hard/unfair to use a tool to get a horse to try to lift and stretch is back with the weight of a rider.
            Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by LoveJubal View Post
              Thanks Satin Filly! I have a follow-up stupid comment/question. I am assuming that the curling behind the bit comes from the neck stretcher being run with the adjustable piece over the poll through the rings on the bit and then being hooked to the ring on the girth. I don't think it is hooked to the bit, right?

              I was looking at this picture of it and there is no real description of how it is hooked up.
              Correct. Both of these items work by placing pressure on the poll and mouth; the difference between these two training aids is the way they're routed. The chambon hooks onto the bit, the two strings loop through a crown peice which is placed over the pole, and then hooked between the legs at the girth. When the horse puts his head up, pressure is put on the top of the pole via the crown peice which then also puts pressure in the corners of the lips/mouth.
              The neck stretcher is nothing but a glorified bungee cord that sits on top the poll, loops through the bit and then attaches at the girth between the legs. When the horse raises its head, pressure is applied at the bars of the mouth and the poll. Horses learn to evade this device by curling behind the bit to relieve pressure on the bars of the mouth.

              Comment


              • #8
                I use chambons for flat work and neck stretchers for lunging and strengthening. Its also really important to not over tighten the neck stretcher or the horse will get behind the bit.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I just started using a neck stretcher this past year and it made a HUGE difference in one horse who would carry his head too high and not want to relax long and low. A few weeks of light lunging and basic w/t/c in it made the world of difference and a far better horse. I would not use it as an everyday type of thing but occassional reminders.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    When I started leasing a horse who was moderately fractious and had also been going completely inverted for years, the neck stretcher was a godsend. If he wanted to fight, he'd be fighting it, and not me. I always kept it very loose and within short order (along with new saddle, chiro, etc), he was able to finally figure out what to do with his body. I never had a problem with curling, but I kept it quite loose--just enough that it would "catch" him if he started flipping his head.
                    Flip a coin. It's not what side lands that matters, but what side you were hoping for when the coin was still in the air.

                    You call it boxed wine. I call it carboardeaux.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      This website gives a good visual idea of the mechanics of what each tool does. I prefer the chambon hands down, as it doesn't create curling behind the bit.

                      http://www.sustainabledressage.net/t...ts.php#chambon

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by apachepony View Post
                        This website gives a good visual idea of the mechanics of what each tool does. I prefer the chambon hands down, as it doesn't create curling behind the bit.

                        http://www.sustainabledressage.net/t...ts.php#chambon
                        That website was immensely helpful! What a nice rundown of all the "tools" out there! Thank you!
                        ALP
                        "The Prince" aka Front Row
                        Cavalier Manor

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Now that you know what they look like and do, here is a practical consideration: In a chambon, the horse can reach down and out and put its nose right on the ground without pressure. (The pressure only ever happens when the horse evades up.) With a neck stretcher, actual stretching of the neck down and out to the degree I want them to stretch is blocked by pressure.
                          At all times, we are either training or untraining.
                          Flying Haflinger blog: http://flyinghaflinger.blogspot.com/ Flying Irish Draught blog: http://flyingirishredhead.blogspot.com/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            There is only 'stretching of the neck' (forward/down/out/opening the throat latch) in a chambon or if draw reins are properly used (which they rarely are).

                            Draw reins are meant for lateral flexibility (originally they were used onto a lunge caveson), and then allowing for telescoping the neck. In todays world they are often used (only) for longitudinal flexion which is incorrect. And sliding side reins are really meant for only for setting upper limits (in piaffe), yet many people lunge in them to get the horse down and closed.

                            With a chambon, the pressure is onto the lips (via the poll) when the horse lifts. So correctly after lunging in this device, the rider must then learn to lightly lift to keep the horse seeking fdo/stretching. This happens rarely, so it mostly assists in lungeing, but I have rarely seen it help ridden if the rider does not ride according to the french method (bsm).

                            With a neck stretcher, there is pressure on the poll via a kind of d.r. attachment back to the elbows. So the horse closes the throatlatch and lowers, but almost always is broken at the third vertebrae. Many riders want the horse to 'give to the bit' longitudinally (no matter where) rather than seek a connection.

                            If any of these things really 'solved an issue', there would be little need for continued use. Certainly one should not ride in any device which holds the horse in leverage (ie chambon/de vogue/n.s./etc), it is simply too confining and cannot be released by the rider. And d.r. are often called razor blades in the hands of monkeys: you need to be an expert to use them, and if you ride well you have little to no use for them.
                            I.D.E.A. yoda

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by FineAlready View Post
                              None of those items "assist in the proper way of going." All of the above actually impede the proper way of going and create a false frame.

                              I couldn't agree more. You cannot isolate one part of the horses body, it has to be taught through the whole body, back to front. Oh well.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Thank you for all of your responses! I have never really used any of these devices myself, except for the chambon and that was very infrequent for a short time.

                                I don't use a martingale either, by the way, so I have never really known what all these "tools" are for. That website was very helpful. I read the description for all the tools and I was very interested. I can certainly see how they can be used incorrectly or how they may force a certain position on a horse without ever teaching the proper way of going.
                                ALP
                                "The Prince" aka Front Row
                                Cavalier Manor

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by trabern View Post
                                  Now that you know what they look like and do, here is a practical consideration: In a chambon, the horse can reach down and out and put its nose right on the ground without pressure. (The pressure only ever happens when the horse evades up.) With a neck stretcher, actual stretching of the neck down and out to the degree I want them to stretch is blocked by pressure.
                                  I figured as much by reading the description of the neck stretcher. I like how the chambon only restricts the horse when it evades up, but it certainly has its faults as well.
                                  ALP
                                  "The Prince" aka Front Row
                                  Cavalier Manor

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    The only time I have ever used one of the 'tools' (besides a running or standing martingale) was on a horse with a bad attitude and a piggy eye, who would rear to evade most anything. (Like waking down the road away from the barn; heading away from the gate; making a nice quiet circle; you name it.) I used the neck stretcher on him - adjusted loosely. It kept him from raising his head up to rear. It was loose enough that if he was just gong along, there was no pressure or interference. It worked well on that guy.

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