August 27, 2002
Dear Ms. Dawson,
I read your article on "Lungeing
Dangers" with great interest. I recently fired an assistant trainer
because, among other things, she refused to lunge in a bridle or lunging
cavesson, or whip. She preferred a rope halter and whatever length of line was
handy, with no whip.
We had a near miss, where a horse
kicked up toward the handler. That's why I have always insisted on side reins, a
snaffle bridle and a lunging syrcingle or saddle and whip.
It's come to my attention that
some western trainers at one of our state equestrian colleges are promoting
lunging without side reins, bridle or cavesson, or whip. I would like to see you
do another article stressing the need for side reins, 30' lunge line, and whip.
In my lifetime of experience, there is no other way to safely control the horse.
It's not necessary to crank the horse down with tight side reins, but merely to
have them snug enough to control the horse's shoulder. And yes, we always wear
If I can be of any further help
to you, I would be honored to do so. I am an AHSA (now USA Equestrian) licensed
judge, an ARIA certified instructor in dressage and recreational riding, and
also an expert witness. I very much appreciate the good work that you and your
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