The Chambon is a training aid designed to be used on the lunge or for loose schooling sessions. It is a very useful training aid for slow, careful, rhythmic trot work on the lunge with a horse that needs to be encouraged to take a longer, lower profile. It helps to engage the hindquarters and build the muscles of the horse’s topline. It encourages the horse to lower his head but does not ask for any flexion at the poll.
The horse learns to drop his head and carry the head and neck low and extended but, as no flexion is asked for and there is no lateral support, the nose is still able to poke out at the front. A very useful training aid for a horse with a weak back or a horse that through wrong schooling has built up the underside ofthe neck. The Chambon works the hindquarters very thoroughly so care must be taken not to work the horse for too long in it especially in the early introductory stages as he will become tired and uncomfortable very quickly. It should then be adjusted gradually so that the device can only be felt if the horse tries to lift his head too high and hollow the back; he quickly learns to lower his head and neck and adopt a comfortable working profile.
So with care and regular short sessions a horse with, say, a ewe neck and a weak topline is gradually encouraged to lower the profile and the topline muscles are strengthened and built up so that the horse eventually only finds it natural and comfortable to adopt a lower more relaxed way of going.
TO FIT: The Chambon should not be put on until the horse is in the work space and then it should be attached loosely at first while the horse warms up and gets accustomed to the feel of the aid. It is attached to the girth by an adjustable leather loop which passes up between the horse’s front legs, this divides at the chest into two pieces of cord that pass up either side of the underneck to two little pulleys on either side of a padded headpiece attached to the top of the bridle. The cords then run down either side of the horse’s face and fasten to each snaffle bit ring.