Q: Why would I use a lungeing cavesson rather than a halter or bridle?
A: Using a lungeing cavesson has a couple of advantages over using a halter or bridle.
Firstly, a lungeing cavesson is far more precise than a halter. Halters commonly slip and twist during lungeing and can easily put pressure in the wrong place or end up in the horse’s eye. Most halters also do not provide the amount of control necessary to effectively train a less experienced horse on the lunge. A well-fitted halter is adequate for lunging, but only really for a horse who knows what is expected of him.
A cavesson also has advantages over a bridle as it does not risk causing any issues in the mouth. Lungeing in a bridle can certainly be effective, and is a common choice for many, but if anything goes wrong or the horse is a bit livelier than anticipated, the bit can slide in the mouth and inflict pain. Bridles are generally fine for horses who are familiar with the requirements of lungeing, and who remain calm in this setting. However, they really should not be used for lungeing green or young horses.
A lungeing cavesson on the other hand is designed to stay in place and has a heavy, padded noseband that can give you some control if required. The line is connected on to the centre ring at the front of the noseband, which allows precise directional aids to be given. When pressure is then applied to the cavesson, the noseband presses directly back on the cartilage of the nose, allowing more control in terms of decreasing speed or helping to turn the horse if he tries to leave the circle. These manoeuvres are more difficult to coordinate in a halter, and could be painful for the horse in a bridle.